Rains Dampens Military Campaigns in Virginia

June 3, 1862

In the wake of the Battle of Seven Pines, President Lincoln is concerned about the vulnerability of the Army of the Potomac to Confederate attack.  He writes General George B. McClellan: “With these continuous rains, I am very anxious about the Chickahominy so close in your rear, and crossing your line of communication. Please look well to it.”   McClellan replied: “Your despatch of Five PM just received. As the Chickahominy has been almost the only obstacle in my way for several days your Excellency may rest assured that it has not been over-looked Every effort has been made and will continue to be to perfect the communication across it Nothing of importance except that it is again raining.”

Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning writes in his diary that President Lincoln is also concerned about Union Army efforts in the Shenandoah Valley: “At 6 P M went to the Presidents and had a talk with him.   He is afraid [Confederate General Stonewall] Jackson has got away from Fremont and McDowell.”  President Lincoln telegraphed General Irvin McDowell: “Anxious to know whether Shields can head or flank Jackson. Please tell about where Shields and Jackson respectively are, at the time this reaches you.”  McDowell responds: “Shields is at Luray—his advance at the Shenandoah on the road to New Market with an indifferent road, which the constant rains are making bad and with the Shenandoah impassable and rising.”  Jackson would eventually escape from the Union trap and reenforce Confederates near Richmond.

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Published in: on June 3, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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