Today in History:

6 Series I Volume XI-III Serial 14 - Peninsular Campaign Part III


further proof of this neglect-although it is unofficially known that in the last week (or six days) many regiments have arrived and others have changed their positions; some to a considerable distance-not one of these movements has been reported to me (or anything else) by Major-General McClellann; while it is believed, and I may add known, that he is in frequent communication with portions of the Cabinet and on matters appertaining to me. That freedom of access and consultation have, very naturally, deluded the junior general into a feeling of indifference toward his senior.

2. With such supports on his part, it would be as idle for me as it would be against the dignity of my years, to be filing daily complaints against an ambitious junior, who, independent of the extrinsic advantages alluded to, has, unquestionable, very high qualifications for military command. I trust they may achieve crowning victories in behalf of the Union.

3. I have in my letter to you of the 9th instant already said enough on the-to others-disgusting subject of my many physical infirmities. I will here only add that, borne down as I am by them, I should unavoidably be in the way at headquarters, even if my abilities for war were now greater than when I was young.

I have the honor to be, sir with high respect, your most obedient servant,


WASHINGTON, December 10, 1861.

YOUR EXCELLENCY: I inclose the paper you left with me, filled as you requested.* In arriving at the numbers given I have left the minimum number in garrison and observation.

Information received recently leads me to believe that the enemy could meet us in front with equal forces nearly, and I have now my mind actively turned toward another plan of campaign that I do not think at all anticipated by the enemy nor by many of our own people.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




If it were determined to make a forward movement of the Army of the Potomac without awaiting further increase of numbers of better drill and discipline, how long would it require to actually get in motion?

If bridge trains ready by December 15, probably 25.

After leaving all that would be necessary, how many troops could join the movement from southwest of the river?

Seventy-one thousand.

How many from northeast of it?

Thirty-three thousand.

Suppose, then, that of those southwest of the river 50,000 move forward and menace the enemy at Centreville. The remainder of the movable force on that side move rapidly to the crossing of the Occoquan


* In the inclosure the Roman type indicated President Lincoln's handwriting and the Italics General McClellann's.