President Awaits news of Battle of Seven Pines Near Richmond

May 31, 1862

President Lincoln spends much of the afternoon and night at the War Department’s telegraph office awaiting military news from General George B. McClellan campaign against Richmond.  Forty minutes before President Lincoln receives his first news of the battle at 11 PM, the president  writes McClellan to report on the military situation elsewhere: “A circle whose circumference shall pass through Harper’s Ferry, Front-Royal, and Strasburg, and whose center shall be a little North East of Winchester, almost certainly has within it this morning, the forces of Jackson, Ewell, and Edward Johnson. Quite certainly they were within it two days ago. Some part of these forces attacked Harper’s Ferry at dark last evening, and are still in sight this morning. Shields—with McDowell’s advance re-took Front Royal at 11 A.M. yesterday, with a dozen of our own prisoners taken there a week ago, one hundred and fifty of the enemy, two locomotives and eleven cars, some other property and stores, and saved the bridge. Fremont, from the direction of Moorefield, promises to be at or near Strasburg at 5 P.M. to-day. Banks, at Williamsport, with his old force, and his new force at Harpers Ferry, is directed to co-operate. Shields, at Front-Royal, reports a rumor of still an additional force of the enemy, supposed to be Anderson’s, having entered the valley of Virginia. This last may or may not be true. Corinth is certainly in the hands of Gen. Halleck.”

Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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