to resist successfully any attempt to occupy Alexandria, but you may prevent the extension of marauders into the country and the advance of troops on the railroad. Should you discover and intention to seize the Manassas Junction, you will notify Colonel Cocke, who will advance to sustain you, and you will, with his and your whole force, oppose it. It will be necessary to watch the approaches on your right from the Potomac, as the distance from Occoquan, which point may be reached in boats, is not more than eighteen or twenty miles from Manassas Junction. You are again requested to urge forward the organization and equipment of your troops, and to see that your officers labor diligently at the instruction and discipline, and be prepared to take the field at any moment.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES,
Richmond, Va., May 15, 1861.
The following order from the governor and council (having been communicated to the commanding general of the Virginia forces, with his excellency's instructions to carry it into effect) is published for the information and guidance of the Virginia troops, viz:
IN COUNCIL, May 15, 1861.
In order to secure a full and fair expression from the voters of the State as to the ordinance of secession, the council unanimously advise that polls be opened at the various places of encampment, according to the terms of the seventh section of the schedule accompanying the ordinance of secession, for the purpose of taking upon said ordinance the votes of the qualified voters of the State who are in the military service; said votes to be held over, and, in case the military exigencies of the service of the State on the fourth Thursday in this mont (the day appointed in the schedule for taking the vote throughout the State) be such as to make a vote by the army and navy, or any portion thereof, impracticable on that day, to be returned to the Convention for its action: Provided, however, That the vote herein recommence shall not supersede the vote on the fourth Thursday in the month (where it may be practicable to have it taken on that day), the vote herein advised being precautionary. It is further advised that orders be at once issued to the commanding officers at the aforesaid encampments to have the polls opened and the vote taken as soon after the receipt of the order as practicable.
From the minutes:
P. F. HOWARD,
Secretary of the Council.
All officers commanding troops from the State of Virginia will accordingly take measures, upon the receipt of this order, to take the vote of such troops, in conformity with the terms of the seventh section of the schedule accompanying the ordinance of secession.
By order of Major-General Lee:
R. S. GARNETT,
HEADQUARTERS POTOMAC DEPARTMENT,
Culpeper Court-House, Va., May 15, 1861.
General R. E. LEE, Commander-in-Chief:
SIR: In my dispatch, which I had the honor to make on yesterday, I addressed myself to the consideration of the great importance of his my central line of operations through Culpeper, Manassas, Alexandria, &c. I endeavor to impress upon the mind of the General-in-Chief