HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA
Washington D.C., July 14, 1862
To The Officers and Soldiers of the Army of Virginia:
By special assignment of the President of the United States I have assumed the command of this army. I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, your condition and your wants, in preparing you for active operations, and in placing you in positions from which you can act promptly and to the purpose. These labors are nearly completed, and I am about to join you in the field. Continue reading
To Edwin M. Stanton
Savage Station June 28 12:20A.M.
…I now know the full history of the day [June 27]. On this side of the river – the right bank – we repulsed several very strong attacks. On the left bank our men did all that men could do, all that soldiers could accomplish – but they were overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers even after I brought my last reserves into action. The loss on both sides is terrible – I believe it will prove to be the most desperate battle of the war. The sad remnants of my men behaved as men – those battalions who fought most bravely & suffered most are still in the best order. My regulars were superb & I count upon what are left to turn another battle in company with their gallant comrades of Volunteers. Had I 20,000 or even 10,000 fresh troops to use tomorrow I could take Richmond, but I have not a man in reserve & shall be glad to cover my retreat & save the material & personnel of the Army. Continue reading
One spectacle of anguish and agony only succeed another. The mind was overwhelmed and benumbed by such scenes of accumulated misery…. Great must be the cause which demands such a sacrifice. Continue reading
Headquarters near Richmond
June 5, 1862
After much reflection I think if it was possible to reinforce Jackson strongly, it would change the character of the war. This can only be done by the troops in Georgia, South Carolina & North Carolina. Jackson could in that event cross Maryland into Pennsylvania. It would call the enemy from our Southern coast & liberate those states. If these states will give up their troops I think it can be done.
McClellan will make this a battle of posts. He will take position from position, under cover his heavy guns, & we cannot get at him without storming his works, which with our new troops is extremely hazardous. Continue reading
No official accounts from “Stonewall” and his glorious army, but private accounts are most cheering. In the mean time, the hospitals in and around Richmond are being cleaned, aired, etc., preparatory to the anticipated battles. Oh, it is sickening to know that these preparations are necessary! Every man who is able has gone to his regiment…
It is said that General Johnston, by an admirable series of maneuvers, is managing to retreat from Williamsburg, all the time concealing the comparative weakness of his troops, and is retarding the advance of the enemy, until troops from other points can be concentrated here. Continue reading
May 14th – Our army has fallen back to within four miles of Richmond. Much anxiety is felt for the fate of the city. Is there no turning point in this long lane of downward progress? Truly it may be said, our affairs at this moment are in a critical condition. I trust in God, and the chivalry and patriotism of the South in the field.
The enemy’s fleet of gun-boats are ascending James River, and the obstructions are not completed. We have but one or two casemated guns in battery, but we have brave men there. Continue reading