The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
Telegram to Secretary Seward. June 29, 1862.
WAR DEPARTMENT, June 29, 1862.6 P.M.
HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Astor House, New York:
Not much more than when you left. Fulton of Baltimore American is now with us. He left White House at 11 A.M. yesterday. He conversed fully with a paymaster who was with Porter's force during the fight of Friday and fell back to nearer McClellan's quarters just a little sooner than Porter did, seeing the whole of it; stayed on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy over night, and left for White House at 5 A.M. Saturday. He says Porter retired in perfect order under protection of the guns arranged for the purpose, under orders and not from necessity; and with all other of our forces, except what was left on purpose to go to White House, was safely in pontoons over the Chickahominy before morning, and that there was heavy firing on the Richmond side, begun at 5 and ceased at 7 A.M. Saturday. On the whole, I think we have had the better of it up to that point of time. What has happened since we still know not, as we have no communication with General McClellan. A despatch from Colonel Ingalls shows that he thinks McClellan is fighting with the enemy at Richmond to-day, and will be to-morrow. We have no means of knowing upon what Colonel Ingalls founds his opinion. Confirmed about saving all property. Not a single unwounded straggler came back to White House from the field, and the number of wounded reaching there up to 11 A.M. Saturday was not large.
To what the President has above stated I will only add one or two points that may be satisfactory for you to know.
First. All the sick and wounded were safely removed
Second. A despatch from Burnside shows that he is from White House; not a man left behind in condition to afford efficient support, and is probably doing so.
Third. The despatch from Colonel Ingalls impresses me with the conviction that the movement was made by General McClellan to concentrate on Richmond, and was successful to the latest point of which we have any information.
Fourth. Mr. Fulton says that on Friday night, between twelve and one o'clock, General McClellan telegraphed Commodore Goldsborough that the result of the movement was satisfactory to him.
Fifth. From these and the facts stated by the President, my inference is that General McClellan will probably be in Richmond within two days.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
[Unfortunately McClellan did not do any of the things he was ordered, and that it was very likely possible to do. It is still some mystery what he was doing all these days other than hiding in the woods and staying out of communication so he would not receive any more uncomfortable orders. This was another place where the North was close to wining the war and did not. D.W.]