To Irvin McDowell

Maj. Gen. McDowell.            Washington City, D. C.
Manassas Junction.              May 30. 1862. 10. A. M.

I somewhat apprehend that Fremont’s force, in it’s present condition, may not be quite strong enough in case it comes in collision with the enemy. For this additional reason, I wish you to push forward your column as rapidly as possible. Tell me what number your force reaching Front Royal will amount to.

A. LINCOLN

McDowell’s reply received at 12:30 P. M. reads in part as follows: “I am pushing forward every thing to the utmost as I telegraphed the Secy of War last night. Major General Shields did not think he could make Front Royal before tonight. I sent him your telegraph and asked what could be done by extraordinary exertions, towards accomplishing your wishes that the advance of my force should be at Front Royal by twelve oclock noon today I informed him of the position of affairs and how necessary it was to forward He fully appreciated the course and said he would. . . be at Front Royal by noon and two other Brigades within five miles of Front Royal by the same time. It will require driving to accomplish this and the day is hot. I am urging Genl Ord forward with all the physical power of the Rail Road & of the moral power of a strong representation of the urgency of the cause he may be beyond Rectorstown tonight. Genl Shields has ten thousand nine hundred. . . men & Genl Ord nine thousand about 20000 between them Bayards cavalry brigade will amount to about two thousand 2000 Gearys will amount to about fifteen hundred (1500) All this will give me about twenty one thousand 21000 men for offensive purposes—the others being required to guard Bridges and Rail road in the rear. . . . May I ask the force which. . . Fremont will have with him at Strasburg. . . . Will Blenker form part. . .

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