To Edwin M. Stanton

Executive Mansion, April 3. 1862

The Secretary of War will order that one, or the other of the corps, of Gen. McDowell and Gen. Sumner, remain in front of Washington until further orders from the Department,—to operate at, or in the direction of Ma[na]ssas junction, or otherwise as occasion may require; that the other corps, not so ordered to remain, go forward to Gen. McClellan as speedily as possible; that Gen. McClellan commence his forward movement from his new base at once; and that such incidental modifications as the foregoing may render proper, be also made. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

On April 2, 1862, Brigadier General James S. Wadsworth reported to Stanton a total of 19,022 troops present for the defense of Washington and stated that “looking at the numerical strength and character of the force under my command, it is in my judgment entirely inadequate to and unfit for the important duty to which it is assigned.” On the same day, Stanton requested Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas and Major General Ethan A. Hitchcock “to report to me whether the President’s order and instructions have been complied with in respect to. . . the defense of Washington. . . .” Thomas and Hitchcock replied also on the same day, that the president’s order “has not been fully complied with.”

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