General McClellan Reports Army Crossing the Potomac

October 30, 1862

General George B. McClellan writes to President Lincoln: General Thomas “Reynolds has crossed.  All the Army is in motion to follow the general movement.  OI ask your attention to my dispatches calling the notice of the General in Chief to the insufficiency of the preparations I leave behind me for resisting a raid, also to the fact that we are to have no reinforcements for the old Penna regts from the drafted men.  No greater mistake has been made than the total failure to reinforce the old regiments.  Please remember that I have clearly stated what troops I leave behind & that I regard the number insufficient to prevent a raid & that while the responsibility has been thrown upon me by General Halleck he has given me only limited means to accomplish the object.

I write this only to place the responsibility where it belongs & wish you to show this to Genl Halleck.  I also wish before entering upon this important campaign again to inform you that I am most ill provided with cavalry & artillery horses, & that any statements to the effect that I have received for the active army under my command more than (2500) twenty five hundred horses for cavalry & artillery are totally untrue & that it is not until today that I have clothing enough in hand to supply the pressing wants of my men.

Destructive diseases are breaking out among the horses.

President Lincoln writes Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G. Curtin: “By some means I have not seen your despatch of the 27th. about order No. 154, till this moment. I now learn, what I knew nothing of before, that the history of the order is as follows, towit. Gen. McClellan telegraphed asking Gen. Halleck to have the order made. Gen. Halleck went to the Sec. of War with it, stating his approval of the plan, the Secretary assented, and Gen. Halleck wrote the order. It was a military question which the Secretary supposed the Generals understood better than he. I wish I could see Gov. Curtin.”

Governor Curtin had  protested against army orders “as unjust to the people of the States, and calculated to demoralize and destroy volunteer organizations.”  The orders stated “The commanding officer of each regiment, battalion, and battery of the Regular Army in the field, will appoint one or more recruiting officers, who are hereby authorized to enlist, with their own consent, the requisite number of efficient volunteers to fill the ranks of their command to the legal standard.”  Lincoln referred Curtin’s telegram to the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who responds: ‘The protest of Governor Curtin is ill advised, revolutionary and tends to excite discontent and mutiny in the army and in my judgment should be severely rebuked by the President.”

President Lincoln writes the Grand Duke of Baden: “I have received the letter which Your Royal Highness was pleased to address to me on the 27th. of last month, announcing the marriage of Her Grand Ducal Highness the Princess Leopoldine of Baden, with His Most Serene Highness the Prince Hermann of Hohenloe Langenburg. I participate in the satisfaction afforded by this happy event, and pray Your Royal Highness to accept my sincere congratulations.”

Published in: on October 30, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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