1862: “You Have Done Your Best To Sacrifice This Army”

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