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impressions in regard to it. When I returned from Chancellorsville, I felt that I had fought no battle ; in fact, I had more men than I could use; and I fought no general battle, for the reason that I could not get my men in position to do so; probably not more than three or three and a half corps, on the right, were engaged in that fight.”

And he repeats his understanding of his maneuvring as follows: “ My impression was, that Lee would have been compelled to move out on the same road that Jackson had moved on, and pass over to my right. I should add in my testimony that before leaving Falmouth, to make this move, I had a million and a half of rations on board lighters, and had gunboats in readiness to tow them up to points on the Pamunkey River, in order to replenish my provisions, to enable me to reach Richmond before the enemy could, in case I succeeded in throwing him off that line of retreat. When I gave the order to Gen. Sedgwick, I expected that Lee would be whipped by maneuvre. I supposed that he would be compelled to march off on the same line that Jackson had. He would have been thrown on the Culpeper and Gordonsville road, placing me fifty or sixty miles nearer Richmond than himself.”

Criticism upon such an eccentric summing-up of the results of the campaign of Chancellorsville, is too unprofitable a task to reward the attempt. But assuredly the commander of the gallant Army of the Potomac stands alone in his measure of the importance of the movement, or of the disastrous nature of the defeat.

XXXVII.

SOME RESULTING CORRESPONDENCE.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

NEAR CHANCELLORSVILLE, VA., May 5, 1863. To the Commanding Officer,

Confederate Forces, Chancellorsville, Va. I would most respectfully request the privilege of sending a burial-party on the field of Chancellorsville, to bury the dead, and care for the wounded officers and soldiers of my command. Very respectfully, etc.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Major-General Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

May 6, 1863. MAJOR-GEN. J. HOOKER,

Commanding Army of the Potomac. General, — I have had the honor to receive your letter of yesterday, requesting permission to send a burial-party to attend to your dead and wounded on the battle-field of Chancellorsville. I regret that their position is such, being immediately within our lines, that the necessities of war forbid my compliance with your request, which, under other circumstances, it would give me pleasure to grant. I will accord to your dead and wounded the same attention which I bestow upon my own; but, if there is any thing which

your

medical director here requires which we cannot provide, he shall have my permission to receive from you such medical supplies as you may think proper to furnish. Consideration for your wounded prompts me to add, that, from what I learn, their comfort would be greatly promoted by additional medical attendance and medical supplies. I have the honor to be, Respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 6, 1863, 4.30 P.M. His EXCELLENCY A. LINCOLN,

President of the United States. Have this moment returned to camp. On my way received your telegrams of eleven A.M. and 12.30. The army had previously re-crossed the river, and was on its return to camp. As it had none of its trains of supplies with it, I deemed this advisable. Above, I saw no way of giving the enemy a general battle with the prospect of success which I desire. Not to exceed three corps, all told, of my troops have been engaged. For the whole to go in, there is a better place nearer at hand. Will write you at length to-night. Am glad to hear that a portion of the cavalry have at length turned up. One portion did nothing

JOSEPH HOOKER, Major-General.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.,

May 7, 1863. MAJOR-GEN. HOOKER.

My dear Sir, — The recent movement of your army is ended without effecting its object, except, perhaps, some important breakings of the enemy's communications. What next? If possible I would be very glad of another movement early enough to give us some benefit from the fact of the enemy's communication being broken ; but neither for this reason or any other do I wish any thing done in desperation or rashness. An early movement would also help to supersede the bad moral effect of the recent one, which is said to be considerably injurious. Have you already in your mind a plan wholly or partially formed? If you have, prosecute it without interference from me. If you have not, please inform me, so that I, incompetent as I may be, can try and assist in the formation of some plan for the army. Yours, as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 7, 1863. His Excellency, President of the United States.

I have the honor to acknowledge your communication of this date, and in answer have to state that I do not deem it espedient to suspend operations on this line, from the reverse we have experienced in endeavoring to extricate the army from its present position. If in the first effort we failed, it was not for want of strength or conduct of the small number of troops actually engaged, but from a cause which could not be foreseen, and could not be provided against. After its occurrence the chances of success were so much lessened, that I felt another plan might be adopted in place of that we were engaged in, which would be more certain in its results. At all events, a failure would not involve a disaster, while in the other case it was certain to follow the absence of success. I may add that this consideration almost wholly determined me in ordering the army to return to its old camp. As to the best time for renewing our advance upon the enemy, I can only decide after an opportunity has been afforded to learn the feeling of the troops. They should not be discouraged or depressed, for it is no fault of theirs (if I may except one corps) that our last efforts were not crowned with glorious victory. I suppose details are not wanted of me at this time. I have decided in my own mind the plan to be adopted in our next effort, if it should be your wish to have one made. It has this to recommend it: it will be one in which the operations of all the corps, unless it be a part of the cavalry, will be within my personal supervision. Very respectfully, etc.,

JOSEPH HOOKER, Major-General Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN. VIRGINIA,

May 7, 1863. MAJOR-GEN. HOOKER,

Commanding Army of the Potomac. General, -- The reasons that prevented me from complying with your request with reference to your wounded no longer existing, I have the honor to inform you that you can extend to them such attentions as they may require. All persons whom it may be necessary to send within my lines for this purpose will remain until the wounded are finally disposed of. The burial of your dead has already been provided for.

I have directed that those of your wounded who desire it, shall be paroled and transferred within your lines, should you be willing to receive them ; those in the vicinity of Chancellorsville at the United States Mine Ford, and those on the battlefield of Salem Church at Banks's Ford or Fredericksburg. As your wounded generally occupy the few houses in the vicinity of the late battle-field, the transportation of this army cannot

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