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[269] distant; and on the same day Colonel Averill returned from a reconnoissance in the direction of Savage's Station towards Richmond, in the course of which he had encountered the 10th Virginia Cavalry near White Oak Swamp bridge and driven them back some distance towards Richmond. These military demonstrations were made with the expectation, or at least the hope, that an offensive movement upon Richmond would still be the policy of the Government.

On the 3d of August, the decision of the Government was distinctly communicated to General McClellan in a despatch from General Halleck, in which he said, “It is determined to withdraw your army from the Peninsula to Acquia Creek. You will take immediate means to effect this, covering the movement the best you can. Its real object and withdrawal should be concealed even from your own officers.” This was a heavy blow to General McClellan; and he earnestly protested against it in a long telegraphic despatch, dated August 4, to which General Halleck replied in a letter dated August 6.

General McClellan's arguments against the removal of the army and in favor of an offensive movement, as presented in his despatch, are briefly as follows. The army was in excellent discipline and condition, and in a favorable position, being only twenty-five miles from Richmond, and they would not be likely to have a battle till they were within ten miles of it.

At Acquia Creek they would be seventy-five

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