Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 9, 1862 (Wednesday): McClellan-"The enemy is in full retreat."

Drewry's Bluff (

July 9, 1862-3 p.m. (Received 10.45 p.m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War;
General Davidson found enemy's rear guard 4 miles off on Long Bridge road this morning. Several prisoners confirm previous statement, and I am now confident that enemy is in full retreat, probably destinated for immediate vicinity of Richmond. Our cavalry has not yet returned nor sent in news. No reasons as yet to believe that any portion of enemy have moved on Washington. Jackson was in front of us yesterday. Shall watch closely and keep you constantly informed of what transpires.

Major-General, Commanding.

Official Records Series I., Vol. 11, Part 3, Page 308.

While the President was completing his visit to McClellan's command, the Confederates were pulling back.  Longstreet anchored the new Confederate right opposite Drewry's Bluff, D.H. Hill moved back to his original position near Seven Pines, and Jackson returned to Mechanicsville.  McLaws Division constituted the reserve behind Hill's command near Gillie's Creek (within sight of Richmond).  Holmes command returned to the Petersburg area, within supporting distance of the Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff.  It was still thought at this time McClellan would resume offensive operations.  In fact, in messages exchanged on this day between Halleck and Sherman out west, both expressed confidence in McClellan and stated he would now undoubtedly take Richmond by slow advances of lines of entrenchments.

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