To Henry W. Halleck

Major Genl. Halleck                                         Washington City, D.C.
Near Corinth, Tenn. [Mississippi]                 May 24, 71/2 P.M. 1862

Several despatches from Assistant Secretary Scott, and one from Gov. Morton, asking re-inforcements for you have been received. I beg you to be assured we do the best we can. I mean to cast no blame when I tell you each of our commanders along our line from Richmond to Corinth supposes himself to be confronted by numbers superior to his own. Under this pressure we thinned the line on the upper Potomac until yesterday it was broken, at heavy loss to us, and Gen. Banks put in great peril, out of which he is not yet extricated, and may be actually captured. We need men to repair this breach, and have them not at hand.

My dear general, I feel justified to rely very much on you. I believe you and the brave officers and men with you, can and will get the victory at Corinth. A. LINCOLN

Oliver P. Morton telegraphed from “Camp near Corinth,” May 23, 9 A.M., “General Hallecks army has been greatly reduced by sickness. The enemy are in great force at Corinth and have recently received reinforcements. They evidently intend to make a desperate struggle at that point and from all I can learn their leaders have utmost confidence in the result. They are constantly at work upon their entrenchments which are becoming of a formidable character It is fearful to contemplate the consequences of a defeat at Corinth. In the opinion of many officers our forces are at present outnumbered. I would most earnestly ask that if it be possible ten more [sic] be at once detached from Points and sent here and also that no time be lost doing this if it can be.”

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