Thursday, May 24, 2012

Request Denied

The wide-ranging fears of civilians in the field had produced several requests for reinforcements that had apparently made their way to the top of the War Department. Assistant Secretary Scott's exaggerated rumor mongering was discussed in earlier posts (May 6 & 7).  The president sends the following letter in response to Major General Halleck on this day in 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
WAR DEPARTMENT, May 24, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK,
Near Corinth, Miss:

Several dispatches from Assistant Secretary Scott and one from Governor Morton, asking re-enforcements for you, have been received. I beg you to be assured we do the best we can. I mean to cast no blame when I tell you each of our commanders along our line from Richmond to Corinth supposes himself to be confronted by numbers superior to his own. Under this pressure we thinned the line on the Upper Potomac, until yesterday it was broken at heavy loss to us, and General Banks put in great peril, out of which he is not yet extricated, and may be actually captured. We need men to repair this breach, and have them not at hand. My dear general, I feel justified to rely very much on you. I believe you and the brave officer and men with you can and will get the victory at Corinth.


ORE correspondence courtesy of my Favorite Link, Ohio State's eHistory

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