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ABRAHAM LINCOLN
(Page Two of Seven)









 
Lincoln Notes the Results of Interviews
With Generals of the Army of the Potomac.

(July 8-9, 1862 after the "Seven Days" Battles)



Lincoln's memorandium
236


After the Seven Days Battles (June 25-July 1, 1862), Lincoln visited General McClellan's headquarters. At that time, he interviewed McClellan and his subordinates. Lincoln's memorandum on the interviews follows: *





Abraham Lincoln, Memorandum on Interviews with Officers of the Army of the Potomac1, July 8-9, 1862



Gen. McClellan July 8. 1862

What amount of force have you now?
About 80-000-- Cant vary much-- Certainly 75-000--

What is likely to be your condition as to health in this camp?
Better than in any encampment since landing at Fort Monroe--

Where is the enemy now?
From four to 5. miles from us on all the roads -- I think nearly their whole Army-- Both Hills-- Longstreet, Jackson, Magruder, Huger,

If you desired, could you remove the army safely?
It would be a delicate & very difficult matter--

Cavalry about 5000--



Gen. Sumner2 -- July 9, 1862

What is the whole amount of your corps with you know now?
About 16.000

What is the agregate of your killed, wounded, and missing from the attack on the 26th ult till now?
11-75 1175

In your present encampment what is the present and prospective condition as to health?
As good as any part of Eastern Va.

When, & in what condition do you believe the enemy to now be
I think they have retired from the front, were much damaged, especially in their best troops in the late actions, from superiority of our arms

If it were desired to get the Army away, could it be safely effected?
I think we could, but I think we give up the cause if we do it--

Is the Army secure in its present position?
Perfectly so, in my judgment--



Gen. Heintzelman3 -- July 9, 1862

What is the whole amount of your corps now with you?
15,000, for duty

What is the agregate of your killed, wounded, and missing from the attack of the 26. ult. till now?
Not large, 745--

In your present encampment, what is the present and prospective condition as to health?
Excellent for health & present health improving--

Where, and in what condition do you believe the enemy to now be?
Dont think they are in force in our vicinity.

If it were desired to get the ene Army away from here could it be safely effected?
Perhaps we could, but think it would be ruinous to the country

Is the Army secure in its present position?
I think it is safe.



Gen. Keyes4 -- July 9. 1862

What is the whole amount of your corps with you now?
About 12-500

What is the agregate of your killed, wounded, and missing from, the attack on the 26 th till now?
Less than 500.

In your present encampment what is the present & prospective condition as to health?
A little improved, but think camp is getting worse

When, and in what condition, do you believe the enemy to now be?
Think he has withdrawn & think preparing to go to Washington--

If it were desired to get the Army away, could it be safely effected?
I think it could if done quickly.

Is the Army, in its present position, secure?
With help of Gen B.5 can hold position.



Gen Porter6

What is the amount of your corps now with you?
About 23.000 Fully 20-000 fit, for duty--

What is the aggregate of your killed wounded and missing from the attack on the 26th ult. until now?
Over 5000--

In your present encampment, what is the present and prospective condition as to health?
Very good--

Where and in what condition do you believe the enemy now to be?
Believe he is mainly near Richmond-- He feels he dare not attack us here--

If it were desired to get the army away from here, could it be safely effected?
Impossible -- move the Army & ruin the country--

Is the Army secure in its present position?
Perfectly so-- Not only but we are ready to begin moving forward--



General Franklin7

What is the whole amount of your corps now with you?
About 15,000.

What is the aggregate of your killed, wounded, and missing, from the attack on the 26th ultimo till now?
Don't think the whole will exceed 3,000 men.

In your present encampment what is the present and prospective condition as to health?
Not good.

Where and in what condition do you believe the enemy now to be?
I learn he has withdrawn from our front, and think that is probable.

If it were desired to get the army away from here, could it be safely effected?
I think we could, and think we better -- think Rappahannock true line.

Is the army secure in its present position?
Unless we can be closer, it is.



[ By a Secretary:]

General Sumner ... 1175
General Heintzelman ... 745.
General Keyes ... 500.
Fitz J Porter ... 5000
Franklin ... 3000

10420



[ By Lincoln:]

113 ... 78
113 ... 489
306 ... 439
443 10068



[Table & text omitted here for clarity - Ed**]



[ Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Memoranda, from Gen.

McClellan's H. Q--

July 9, 1862



[Note 1 Subsequent to the Seven Days Battles (June 25-July 1, 1862), Lincoln visited General McClellan's headquarters to review the Army of the Potomac. Never a total believer in McClellan's peninsular strategy, Lincoln conducted the interviews recorded here with McClellan and his subordinates. What he learned doubtless confirmed his skepticism about the campaign. By the end of July, Lincoln and General Henry Halleck, who Lincoln the same month had named general in chief of the Union armies, determined to move the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula to join General John Pope's newly-created Army of Virginia, which stood between Washington and Richmond.]

[Note 2 Edwin V. Sumner]

[Note 3 Samuel P. Heintzelman]

[Note 4 Erasmus D. Keyes]

[Note 5 Ambrose E. Burnside]

[Note 6 Fitz John Porter. The questions to Porter are not in Lincoln's hand but the answers are.]

[Note 7 William B. Franklin. The page containing the interrogation of Franklin is missing. What follows is reproduced from Collected Works, V, 312.]

[Note 8 These are the totals of killed, wounded and missing from Hooker's and Kearny's Divisions.]

[Notes 9 & 10, referring to omitted text above, have been deleted - Ed.**]


*   Italics, colors, and line spacing provided by the Editor. All other items (notes, underlines, strikes, etc.) are from the Library of Congress transcription.

** To review the omitted text you can can access the Library of Congress transcription of this document via this LINK.-Ed.



ABRAHAM LINCOLN - PAGE 3




 

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