The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
To General G. B. McClellan. July 2, 1862.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., July 2, 1862.
Your despatch of Tuesday morning induces me to hope your army is having some rest. In this hope allow me to reason with you a moment. When you ask for 50,000 men to be promptly sent you, you surely labor under some gross mistake of fact. Recently you sent papers showing your disposal of forces made last spring for the defense of WASHINGTON, and advising a return to that plan. I find it included in and about WASHINGTON 75,000 men. Now, please be assured I have not men enough to fill that very plan by 15,000. All of Fremont's in the valley, all of Banks's, all of McDowell's not with you, and all in WASHINGTON, taken together, do not exceed, if they reach, 60,000. With Wool and Dix added to those mentioned, I have not, outside of your army, 75,000 men east of the mountains. Thus the idea of sending you 50,000, or any other considerable force, promptly, is simply absurd. If, in your frequent mention of responsibility, you have the impression that I blame you for not doing more than you can, please be relieved of such impression. I only beg that in like manner you will not ask impossibilities of me. If you think you are not strong enough to take Richmond just now, I do not ask you to try just now. Save the army, material and personal, and I will strengthen it for the offensive again as fast as I can. The governors of eighteen States offer me a new levy of 300,000, which I accept.