April 11, 1862
“Don’t worry about the wretches — they have done nearly their worst & can’t do much more. I am sure that I will win in the end, in spite of all their rascallity,” General George B. McClellan writes bitterly to his wife Ellen. “History will present a sad record of these traitors who are willing to sacrifice the country & its army for personal spite & personal aims. The people will soon understand the whole matter & then woe betide the guilty ones.”
McClellan, who always thought he was outmanned by the Confederates, also wrote Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton demanding more troops: “The reconnaissances of today prove that it is necessary to invest and attack Gloucester Point. Give me Franklin’s & McCall’s Divisions under command of Franklin & I will at once undertake it.” Stanton was clearly among those to whom McClellan was referring in his letter to his wife. In his Stanton, he pressed the case for what he could do if more troops were forwarded to him.
If circumstances of which I am not aware make it impossible for you to send me two Divisions to carry out the final plan of campaign I will run the risk & hold myself responsible for the results if you will give me Franklin’s Division. If you still confide in my judgment I entreat that you will grant this request — the fate of our cause depends upon it.
Although willing under the pressure of necessity to carry this through with Franklin alone, I wish it to be distinctly understood that I think two Divisions necessary. I wish it to be distinctly understood that I think two Divisions necessary. Franklin & his Division are indispensable to me. Genl Barnard concurs in this view. I have determined upon the point of attack & am at this moment engaged in fixing the position of the batteries.