War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0098 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA.

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this meets your approval. I have directed Woodbury, with the Engineer Brigade, to hold Fort Lyon. Sumner detached last night two regiments to vicinity of Forts Ethan Allen and Marcy. Meagher's brigade is still at Aquia. If he moves in support of Franklin, it leaves us without any reliable troops in and near Washington. Yet Franklin is too weak alone. What shall be done? No more cavalry arrived; have but three squadrons. Franklin has but 40 rounds of ammunition, and no wagons to move more. I do not think Franklin is in condition to accomplish much if he meets with serious resistance. I should not have moved him but for your pressing order of last night. What have you from Vienna and Dranesville?

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.

To which the following is a reply:

WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862- 12 m.

Upton's Hill arrangement all right. We must send wagons and ammunition to Franklin as fast as they arrive. Meagher's brigade ordered up yesterday. Fitzhugh Lee was, it is said on good authority, in Alexandria on Sunday last for three hours.

I have nothing from Dranesville.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

Major-General McCLELLAN.

On the same day the following was received from His Excellency the President.

WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862-2.30 p.m.

What news from direction of Manassas Junction? What generally?

A. LINCOLN.

Major-General McCLELLAN.

To which I replied as follows:

CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA,

August 29, 1862-2.45 p.m.

The last news I received from the direction of Manassas was from stragglers, to the effect that the enemy were evacuating Centreville and retiring toward Thoroughfare Gap. This by no means reliable.

I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted: First, to concentrate all our available forces to open communications with Pope; Second, to leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe.

No middle ground will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do, and I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish to know what my orders and authority are. I ask for nothing, but will obey whatever orders you give. I only ask a prompt decision, that I may at once give the necessary orders. It will not do to delay longer.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President.

And copy to General Halleck.

To which the following is a reply:

WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862-4.10 p.m.

Yours of to-day just received. I think your first alternative, to wit, "to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope," is the right one, but I wish not to control. That I now leave to General Halleck, aided by your counsels.

A. LINCOLN.

Major-General McCLELLAN.

It had been officially reported to me from Washington that the enemy in strong force was moving through Vienna in the direction of the Chain Bridge, and had a large force in Vienna. This report, in connection with the dispatch of the General-in-Chief on the 28th, before noted, in-