Friday, December 27, 2013

Brigadier General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Meade, June 3, 1862


Everything is very quiet in this vicinity; all reports of the approach of the enemy seem to have subsided. The news of the attempt to break through McClellan's line is looked upon as favorable, inasmuch as the attacking party, having the selection of time and place, could and should have concentrated superior numbers; their failure to succeed proves either their weakness or our superior prowess.1 I have no doubt McClellan has been most urgently demanding reinforcements, and that he looked with the greatest anxiety for McDowell's support. Indeed, his movement on Hanover Court House plainly indicated his expectation and desire to hasten the opening of communication with McDowell. I must do the latter the justice to say that he has all along seen the false position he was in, and has been most anxious to join McClellan, and was as much annoyed as any one when he was ordered to return to Banks's aid. The evacuation of Corinth is unintelligible to me, unless the approach of the gunboats towards Memphis and the destruction of the bridge on the Mobile and Corinth Road by Colonel Ellicott, proved to Beauregard that his communications were in danger and starvation threatened him.

I see an order just published, placing all the troops east of the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, and those at Old Point, again under McClellan's command. This is a retrograde step in the right direction, and will enable him to control our movements and those of General Dix (who goes to Fortress Monroe), and make them harmonize with his own. If McDowell can only defeat and capture Jackson, and return here in time to advance on Richmond, Dix go up the James or Appomattox River and seize Petersburg, we will have them in a pretty tight place, and one victory in our favor would settle the campaign. As it is, scattered and divided, no one can tell what will happen or what combinations occur.

1 Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines, Va., May 31 to June 1, 1862.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 271

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