The President is not willing to uncover the capital entirely, and it is believed that even if this were prudent it would require move time to effect a junction between your army and that of the Rappahannock by the way of the Potomac and York Rivers than by a land march. In order, therefore, to increase the strength of the attack upon Richmond at the earliest moment General McDowell has been ordered to march upon that city by the shortest route. He is ordered-keeping himself always in position to save the capital from all possible attack-so to operate as to put his left wing in communication with your right wing, and you are instructed to co-operate, so as to establish this communication as soon as possible, by extending your right wing to the north of Richmond. It is believed that this communication cane safely established either north or south of the Pamunkey River. In any event you will be able to prevent the main beady of the enemy's forces from leaving Richmond and falling in overwhelming force upon General McDowell.
He will move with between 35,000 and 40,000 men.
A copy of the instructions to General McDowell are with this. The specific task assigned to his command has been to provide against any danger to the capital of the nation.
At your earnest call for re-enforcements he is sent forward to co-operate in the reduction of Richmond, but charged, in attempting this, not to uncover the city of Washington, and you will give no order, either before or after your junction, which can put him out of position to cover this city. You and he will communicate with each other by telegraph or otherwise as frequently as may be necessary for sufficient co-operation. When General McDowell is in position on your right his supplies must be drawn from West Point, and you will instruct your staff officers to be prepared to supply him by that route.
The President desires that General McDowell retain the command of the Department of the Rappahannock and of the forces with which he move forward.
By order of the President:
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
COURT-ROOM, Numbers 467 SOUTH FOURTEENTH STREET, Washington, D. C., Thursday, December 11, 1862.
The court met pursuant to adjournment. Present, * * *
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, U. S. Army,the witness under examination.
* * * * * *
The recorder then read the question proposed yesterday and held by the witness for consideration.
Question by the COURT. You have stated that troops were retained for the defense of Washington. Did these plans provide for a force to be retained from the troops then under your command; and, if so, how large was the force to be retained and what troops were to compose it?
Answer. The troops to be retained for the defense of Washington were almost entirely from those under my immediate command. I cannot give from memory alone an accurate statement of their composition and strength. On the 1st April, I think it was, I wrote a letter to the Secretary of War, giving full information in regard to these points. I have not a copy of that letter with me, but will submit it to the court as soon as I can reach my papers. The force left disposable for the defense of Washing-