1862
Memorandum of an Interview Between the President and General McClellan and Other Officers During a Visit to the Army of the Potomac at Harrison's Landing, Virginia.
 

July 9, 1862.

THE PRESIDENT: What amount of force have you now?

GENERAL McCLELLAN: About 80,000, can't vary much, certainly 75,000.

THE PRESIDENT:[to the corps commanders]
What is the whole amount of your corps with you now.

GENERAL SUMNER: About 15,000.
GENERAL HEINTZELMAN: 15,000 for duty.
GENERAL KEYES: About 12,500.
GENERAL PORTER: About 23,000--fully 20,000 fit for duty.
GENERAL FRANKLIN: About 15,000.

THE PRESIDENT: What is likely to be your condition as to health in this camp?

GENERAL McCLELLAN: Better than in any encampment since landing at Fortress Monroe.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN:[to the corps commanders] In your present encampment what is the present and prospective condition as to health?

GENERAL SUMNER: As good as any part of Western Virginia.

GENERAL HEINTZELMAN: Excellent for health, and present health improving.

GENERAL KEYES: A little improved, but think camp is getting worse.

GENERAL PORTER: Very good.

GENERAL FRANKLIN: Not good.

THE PRESIDENT: Where is the enemy now?

GENERAL McCLELLAN: From four to five miles from us on all the roads --I think nearly the whole army--both Hills, Longstreet, Jackson, Magruder, Huger.

THE PRESIDENT: [to the corps commanders] Where and in what condition do you believe the enemy to be now?

GENERAL SUMNER: I think they have retired from our front; were very much damaged, especially in their best troops, in the late actions, from superiority of arms.

GENERAL HEINTZELMAN: Don't think they are in force in our vicinity.

GENERAL KEYES: Think he has withdrawn, and think preparing to go to WASHINGTON.

GENERAL PORTER: Believe he is mainly near Richmond. He feels he dare not attack us here.

GENERAL FRANKLIN: I learn he has withdrawn from our front and think that is probable.

THE PRESIDENT: [to the corps commanders] What is the aggregate of your killed, wounded, and missing from the attack on the 26th ultimo till now?

GENERAL SUMNER: 1175.
GENERAL HEINTZELMAN: Not large 745.
GENERAL KEYES: Less than 500.
GENERAL PORTER: Over 5000.
GENERAL FRANKLIN: Not over 3000.

THE PRESIDENT: If you desired could you remove the army safely?

GENERAL McCLELLAN: It would be a delicate and very difficult matter.

THE PRESIDENT: [to the corps commanders] If it were desired to get the army away, could it be safely effected?

GENERAL SUMNER: I think we could, but I think we give up the cause if we do.

GENERAL HEINTZELMAN: Perhaps we could, but I think it would be ruinous to the country.

GENERAL KEYES: I think it could if done quickly.

GENERAL PORTER: Impossible--move the army and ruin the country.

GENERAL FRANKLIN: I think we could, and that we had better--think Rappahannock the true line.

THE PRESIDENT: [to the corps commanders] Is the army secure in its present position?

GENERAL SUMNER: Perfectly so, in my judgment.
GENERAL HEINTZELMAN: I think it is safe.
GENERAL KEYES: With help of General B. [Burnside] can hold position.
GENERAL PORTER: Perfectly so. Not only, but we are ready to begin moving forward.
GENERAL FRANKLIN: Unless river can be closed it is.