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[275] large amount of supplies and materials, a regiment of cavalry, and five batteries of artillery had been removed, and the phrase “movement has commenced” referred obviously to the movement of the main army; and yet General Halleck sets his hand and gives his official sanction to a statement which distinctly conveys the impression that none of these things had been done at that time Comment is unnecessary, as strong facts do not need the aid of strong language.1

1 A passage between General Halleck and General McClellan is worthy of being preserved in a note, as one of the curiosities of official life. On the 12th of August, General McClellan's Headquarters were at Berkeley, seventy miles from Jamestown Island, the nearest telegraph-office. Being desirous of having more speedy and full explanation of the condition of affairs in the army than he could get by sending a steamer to Jamestown Island and waiting ten hours for a reply, he proposed to go in person to the office, and so informed General Halleck at the close of a despatch of the 12th. He accordingly went to Jamestown Island, but on arriving there found there was an interruption in the electric current, so that he was obliged to continue on to Fortress Monroe and across the Chesapeake Bay to Cherry-Stone Inlet, on the “Eastern shore.” He arrived there late in the evening, and immediately sent the following dispatch:--

Cherry-Stone, August 13, 1862, 11.30 P. M.
Please come to the office; wish to talk to you. What news from Pope?

The next day, at half-past 12, he sent another despatch, as follows:--

Cherry-Stone Inlet, August 14, 1862, 12.30 A. M.
Started to Jamestown Island to talk with you; found cable broken, and came here. Please read my long telegram. All quiet at camp. Enemy burned wharves at City Point yesterday. No rebel pickets within eight (8) miles of Coggin's Point yesterday.

Richmond prisoners state that large force with guns left Richmond northward on Sunday.

To which the following reply was received:--

Washington, August 14, 1862, 1.40 A. M.
I have read your despatch. There is no change of plans. You will send up your troops as rapidly as possible. There is no difficulty in landing them. According to your own accounts, there is now no difficulty in withdrawing your forces. Do so with all possible rapidity.

Before General McClellan had time to decipher and reply to this despatch, the telegraph-operator in Washington informed him that General Halleck had taken his hat and walked out of the office without another word or message! General McClellan then telegraphed thus:--

Cherry-Stone Inlet, August 14, 1862, 1.40 A. M.
Your orders will be obeyed. I return at once. I had hoped to have had a longer and fuller conversation with you, after travelling so far for the purpose.

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