President Contemplates Recruiting More Troops

June 30, 1862 

General George B. McClellan, operating near Richmond, telegraphs Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “Another day of desperate fighting.  We are hard pressed by superior numbers.  I fear I shall be forced to abandon my material to save my men under cover of the Gun Boats.  You must send us very large reinforcements by way of Fort Monroe and they must come very promptly.  My Army has behaved superbly and have done all that men could do.  If none of us escape we shall at least have done honor to the country.  I shall do my best to save the Army.  Send more Gun Boats.”

President Lincoln never liked to be far away from his maps of the military campaigns underway. Senator Orville H. Browning writes:  “After breakfast went to the Presidents and had a brief talk with him about affairs before Richmond…..In the evening went out to Soldiers Home with Mr & Mrs Dorman of Florida.  The President got home soon after we reached there.  He asked me to sit down with him on the stone steps of the portico – then took from his pocket a map of Virginia and pointed out to me the situation of the army before Richmond, and gave me all the news he had from there.  He then took from his pocket a copy of Hallack’s poems, and read to me about a dozen stanzas concluding the poem of Fanny.  The song at the end of the poem he read with great pathos, pausing to comment upon them, and laughed immoderately at the ludicrous conclusion

President Lincoln approves a draft proclamation to recruit 150,000 soldiers prepared by Secretary of State William Seward for a conference of state governors.  The call reads: “The capture of New Orleans, Norfolk, and Corinth by the national forces has enabled the insurgents to concentrate a large force at and about Richmond, which place we must take with the least possible delay; in fact, there will soon be no formidable insurgent force except at Richmond, which place we must take with the least possible delay; in fact, there will soon be no formidable insurgent force except at Richmond.  With so large an army there, the enemy can threaten us on the Potomac and elsewhere.  Until we have re-established the national authority, all these places must be held, and we must keep a respectable force in front of Washington.  But this, from the diminished strength of our Army by sickness and casualties, renders an addition to it necessary in order to close the struggle which has been prosecuted for the last three months with energy and success.  Rather than hazard the misapprehension of our military condition and of groundless alarm by a call for troops by proclamation, I have deemed it best to address you in this form.  To accomplish the object stated we require without delay 150,000 men, including those recently called for by the Secretary of War.  Thus re-enforced, our gallant Army will be enabled to realize the hopes and expectations of the Government and the people.

President Lincoln writes Union General Henry W. Halleck regarding a proposed transfer of troops from the western to the eastern military theaters: “Would be very glad of twenty five thousand Infantry – no artillery, or cavalry – but please do not send a man if it endangers any place you deem important to hold, or if it forces you to give up, or weaken, or delay the expedition against Chattanooga.  To take and hold the Rail-road at, or East of, Cleveland in East Tennessee, I think fully as important as the taking and holding of Richmond.”

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Published in: on June 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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