The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
Continued Failure to Pursue Enemy.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.
SOLDIERS' HOME, WASHINGTON, JULY 6 1863.7 P.M.,
I left the telegraph office a good deal dissatisfied. You know I did not like the phrase--in Orders, No. 68, I believe--"Drive the invaders from our soil." Since that, I see a despatch from General French, saying the enemy is crossing his wounded over the river in flats, without saying why he does not stop it, or even intimating a thought that it ought to be stopped. Still later, another despatch from General Pleasonton, by direction of General Meade, to General French, stating that the main army is halted because it is believed the rebels are concentrating "on the road towards Hagerstown, beyond Fairfield," and is not to move until it is ascertained that the rebels intend to evacuate Cumberland Valley.
These things appear to me to be connected with a purpose to cover Baltimore and Washington and to get the enemy across the river again without a further collision, and they do not appear connected with a purpose to prevent his crossing and to destroy him. I do fear the former purpose is acted upon and the latter rejected.
If you are satisfied the latter purpose is entertained, and is judiciously pursued, I am content. If you are not so satisfied, please look to it.