Rains Slows both Washington and the Army of the Potomac

June 4, 1862

General George B. McClellan telegraphs President Lincoln: “Terrible rain storm during the night & morning — not yet cleared off.  Chickahominy flooded, bridges in bad condition — are still hard at work at them.  I have taken every possible step to insure the security of the Corps on the right bank, but I cannot reinforce them from here until my bridges are all safe as my forces is too small to insure my right & rear should the enemy attack in that direction, as they may probably attempt.  I have to be very cautious now.  Our loss in the late battle will probably exceed (5000) five thousand.  I have not yet full returns.  On account of the effect if might have on our own men & the enemy I request that you will regard this information as confidential for a few days.  I am satisfied that the loss of the enemy was very considerably greater — they were terribly punished.

I mention these facts now merely to show you that the Army of the Potomac has had serious work & that no child’s play is before it.  You must make your calculations on the supposition that I have been correct from the beginning in asserting that the serious opposition was to be here.

“Raining heavily all night and this morning,” wrote Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning. “After breakfast went through the rain to the Presidents to see about appointment of Chaplains….At night went to the Presidents – [Senator James R.] Doolittle went with me.”

Lincoln writes Attorney General Edward Bates: “I said yesterday if the Kentucky delegation or a majority of them, would ask in writing, for the pardon of [Herman] Franks, I would grant it. Having so asked, then the Attorney General will please make out the pardon.”

Lincoln also sent a classic message to Surgeon General William A. Hammond about a nurse unhappy with her position: “Surgeon-General please see Mrs. Bradley, whom I do not know, & redress her grievance, if she have any real one.”

On a more serious matter, President Lincoln writes Tennessee’s military governor, Andrew Johnson: “Do you really wish to have control of the question of releasing rebel prisoners so far as they may be Tennesseans? If you do, please tell us so distinctly. Your answer not to be made public.”  Lincoln writes General Henry W. Halleck: “Your despatch of to-day to Sec. of War received. Thanks for the good news it brings. Have you anything from Memphis or other parts of the Mississippi river? Please answer.”

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Published in: on June 4, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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