To Irvin McDowel

Major Gen McDowell                  Washington City, D.C.
Fredericksburg                              24, May 1862 [5 P.M.]

Gen Fremont has been ordered by Telegraph to move from Franklin on Harrisonburg to relieve Gen Banks and capture or destroy Jackson & Ewell’s force.

You are instructed laying aside for the present the movement on Richmond to put twenty thousand men (20000) in motion at once for the Shenandoah moving on the line or in advance of the line of the Manassas Gap R Road. Your object will be to capture the forces of Jackson & Ewell, either in cooperation with Gen Fremont or in case want of supplies or of transportation interferes with his movement, it is believed that the force with which you move will be sufficient to accomplish the object alone.

The information thus far received here makes it probable that if the enemy operates actively against Gen Banks you will not be able to count upon much assistance from him but may even have to release him.

Reports received this moment are that Banks is fighting with Ewell (8) Eight miles from Winchester.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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