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his staff proceeding in advance, and leaving word where the corps commanders were to make successive stands to resist pursuit, but taking no part personally in any one of the succeeding engagements, the army continued its march towards James River. They first resisted and re. pulsed the pursuing rebels on the 29th at Savage Station, in a bloody battle, fought under General Sumner, and on the 30th bad another severe engagement at Glendale. On the 1st of July, our troops, strongly posted at Malvern Hill, were again attacked by the rebels, whom they repulsed and routed with terrible slaughter; and orders were at once issued for the further retreat of the army to Harrison's Landing, which General McClellan had personally examined and selected on the day before. Even before the battle of Malvern Hill, he had telegraphed to Washington for “fresh troops," saying he should fall back to the river if possible; to which dispatch he received the following reply:
WABUINGTON, July 1, 1862—3.80 P. M. It is impossible to re-enforce you for your present emergency. If we had a million of men we could not get them to you in time. We have not the men to send. If you are not strong enough to face the enemy, you must find a place of security, and wait, rest, and repair. Maintain your ground if you can, but save the army at all events, even if you fall back to Fort Monroe. We still bave strength enough in the country, and will bring it out.
A. LINOOLN. Major-General G. B. MoClellan.
On the next day, in reply to a request from General McClellan for fifty thousand more troops, the President thus addressed him :
WASHINGTON, July 2, 1862. Your dispatch of yesterday induces me to hope that your army is having some rest. In this liope, allow me to reason with you for a moment. When you ask for fifty thousand men to be promptly sent you, you surely labor under some gross mistake of fact. Recently you sent papers showing your disposal of forces inade last spring for the defence of Washington, and advising a return to that plan. I find it included in and about Washington seventy-five thousand men. Now, please be assured that I have vot men enough to fill that very plan by fifteen thousand. All of General Fremont's in the Valley, all of General Binks's, all of General McDowell's
not with you, and all in Washington taken together, do not exceed, if they l'each, sixty thousand. With General Wool and General Dix added to those mentioned, I have not, outside of your army, seventy-five thousand men east of the mountains. Thus, the idea of sending you fifty thousand, or any other considerable force promptly, is simply absurd. If, in your frequent mention of responsibility, you have the impression that I blame you for uot doing more than you can, please be relieved of such impression. I only beg that, in like manner, you will not isk impossibilities of me. If you think you are not strong enough to take Richmond just now, I do not ask you to try just now. Save the army, material, and personnel, and I will strengthen it for the offensive again is fast as I can. The Governors of eighteen States offer me a new luvy of three hundred thousand, which I accept.
On the next day, the 3d, General McClellan again wrote for one hundred thousand men "more rather than less," in order to enable him to “accomplish the great task of capturing Richmond, and putting an end to the rebellion;" and at the same time he sent his chief of staff, General Marcy, to Washington, in order to secure a perfect understanding of the state of the army. The General said he hoped the enemy was as completely worn out as his own army, though he apprehended a new attack, from which, however, he trusted the bad condition of the roads might protect him. On the 4th, he repeated his call for “heavy re-enforcements,” but said he held a very strong position, from which, with the aid of the gunboats, he could only be driven by overwhelming numbers. On the same day he received the following from the President:
WAR DEPARTMENT, WABILINGTON City, D. C., July 4, 1962. I understand your position as stated in your letter, and by General Marcy. To re-enforce you so as to enable you to resume the offensivo within a inonth, or even six weeks, is impossible. In addition to that arrived and now arriving from the Potomac (about ten thousand men, I suppose), and about ten thousand, I hope, you will have from Burnside very soon, and about five thousand from Hunter a little later, I do not see how I can send you another man within a month. Under these circunstances, the defensive, for the present, must be your only care. Save the army, first, where you are, if you can; and secondly, by removal, if you must. You, on the ground, inust be the judge as to which you will attempt, and of the means for effecting it. I but give it as my opinion, that with the aid of the gunboats and the 're-enforcements mentioned above, you
can hold your present position ; provided, and so long as you can koop the James River open below you. If you are not tolerably confident you can keep the James River open, you had better remove as soon as possible. I do not remember that you have expressed any apprehension as to the danger of having your communication cut on the river below you, yet I do not suppose it can have escaped your attention.
P. 8.--If at any time you feel able to take the offensive, you are not restrained from doing so.
At this point, on the 7th of July, General McClellan sent the President a letter of advice on the general conduct of his Administration. He thought the time had come “when the Government should determine upon a civil and inilitary policy covering the whole ground of our national trouble," and he proceeded to lay down the basis of such a policy as ought to be adopted. The war against the rebellion, he said, “should not be a war looking to the subjugation of the people of any State in any event. Neither confiscation of property, political execution of persons, territorial organization of States, nor forcible abolition of slavery, should be contemplated for a moment.” He added :
Military power should not be allowed to interfere with the relations of servitude, either by supporting or impairing the authority of the master, except for repressing disorder, as in other cases. Slaves, contraband, under the act of Congress, seeking military protection, should receive it. The right of the Government to appropriate permanently to its own service claims to slave labor, should be asserted, and the right of the owner to compensation therefor should be recognized. This principle might be extended, upon grounds of military necessity and security, to all the slaves of a particular State, thus working manumission in such State ; and in Missouri, perhaps in Western Virginia also, and possibly even in Maryland, the expediency of such a measure is only a question of time. * * *
Unless the principles governing the future conduct of our struggle shall be made known and approved, the effort to obtain requisite forces will bo almost hopeless. A declaration of radical views, especially upon slavery, will rapidly disintegrate our present armies.
He closed this letter by saying that to carry out these views the President would require a Commander-in-Chief who possessed his confidence and could execute his orders;
he did not ask that place for himself, but would serve in any position that might be assigned him. “I may be," he adds, “on the brink of eternity; and as I hope for forgiveness from my Maker, I have written this letter with sincerity towards you, and from love for my country.”
The President, instead of entering upon a discussion as to the general policy of his Adininistration, continued to urge the General's attention to the state of his own army; and in order to inform himself more accurately as to its actual condition and prospects, visited the camp on the 8th of July, at Harrison's Landing. The actual strength of the army seems to have been at that time a matter of considerable difference of opinion ; and in regard to it, on returning to Washington, the President thus addressed the General :
EVOUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 13, 1862. MY DEAR SIR:-I am told that over one hundred and sixty thousand men have gone with your army on the Peninsula. When I was with you the other day, we made out eighty-six thousand remaining, leaving seventythree thousand five hundred to be accounted for. I believe three thousanı five hundred will cover all the killed, wounded, and missing, in all your battles and skirmishes, leaving fifty thousand who have left otherwise. Not more than five thousand of these have died, leaving forty-five thousand of your army still alive, and not with it. I believe half or twothirds of them are fit for duty to-day. Have you any more pertert knowledge of this than I have? If I am right, and you had these inen with you, you could go into Richmond in the next three days. How can they be got to you, and how can they be prevented from getting away in Buch numbers for the future?
In reply to this letter, the General disclosed the fact that thirty-eight thousand two hundred and fifty men of his army were absent by authority-i.e., on furloughs granted by permission of the Commanding General. The actual number of troops composing his army on the 20th of July, according to official returns, was one hundred and fifty. eight thousand three hundred and fourteen, and the aggregate losses in the retreat to the James River was fifteen thousand two hundred and forty-nine.
During the President'e visit to the camp, the future movements of the army were a subject of anxious deliberation. It was understood that the rebels were gathering large forces for another advance upon Washington, which was comparatively unprotected—and as General McClellan did not consider himself strong enough to take the offensive, it was felt to be absolutely necessary to con. centrate the army, either on the Peninsula or in front of Washington, for the protection of the Capital. The former course, after the experience of the past season, was felt to be exceedingly hazardous, and the corps commanders of the Army of the Potomac were decidedly in favor of the latter. General McClellan at once addressed himself to the task of defeating the project. On the 11th, he tele graphed to the President that “the army was in fine spirits, and that he hoped he would soon make him strong enough to try again.” On the 12th, he said he was “more and more convinced that the army ought not to be withdrawn, but promptly re-enforced and thrown again upon Richmond.” He “dreaded the effects of any retreat on the morale of his men” —though his previous experience should have obviated any such apprehension in his mind. "If we have a little more than half a chance," he said, "we can take Richmond.” On the 17th, he urged that General Burnside's whole command in North Carolina should be ordered to join him, to enable him to "assume the offensive as soon as possible.” On the 18th, he re. peated this request; and on the 28th, again urged that he should be “at once re-enforced by all available troops." On the 25th, General Halleck had visited the camp, and, after a careful inspection of the condition of the army, called an informal council of the officers, a majority of whom, upon learning the state of affairs, recommended its withdrawal from the Peninsula. On the 30th, he issued an order to General McClellan to make arrangements at once for a prompt removal of all the sick in his army, in order to enable him to move “in any direction.” On the 2d of August, not having received any reply, General Halleck renewed his order to “ remove them as rapidly as possible ;" to which, on the 3d, General McClellan replied that it was “impossible to decide what cases to