To George B. McClellan

Major Genl. McClellan                             Washington City, D.C. May 21, 1862.

I have just been waited on by a large Committee who present a petition signed by twenty-three Senators and eightyfour Representatives, asking me to restore Gen. Hamilton to his Division. I wish to do this, and yet I do not wish to be understood as rebuking you. Please answer at once. A. LINCOLN.

McClellan’s reply, “Cool [Cold] Harbor May 22d. 12.30 Pm.,” protested that “The discipline of the army will not permit the restoration of General Hamilton to his Division. . . . Genl Hamilton is not fit to command a Division. . . . The cause of his removal. . . was ample to justify me in the course pursued. You cannot do anything better calculated to injure my army and diminish the probabilities of success. . . than to restore Gen Hamilton. . . .” McClellan’s reply and the petition of May 15 are filed together with Lincoln’s endorsement “Petition to have Gen. Hamilton restored to his command, and protest of Gen. McClellan against it. A.L.” Brigadier General Charles S. Hamilton, replaced by Brigadier General Philip Kearny as commander of the Third Division of the Third Corps on April 30, was “sent forward to join Banks and report to him for orders. . . . If he remains at Harper’s Ferry and can render any service I desire him to do so, but not to supersede you [Brigadier General Rufus Saxton] in command.”

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