To John C. Fremont

Washington City, D.C.
Maj. Gen. Fremont. June 12. 1862

Accounts which we do not credit, represent that Jackson is largely reinforced, and is turning upon you. Stand well on your guard, get your forces well in hand, and keep us well and frequently advised; and if you find yourself really pressed by a superior force of the enemy, fall back cautiously towards, or to, Winchester, according to circumstances; and we will in, due time, have Gen. Banks in position to sustain you. Do not fall back of Harrisonburg, unless upon tolerably clear necessity. We understand Jackson is on the other side of the Shenandoah from you, and hence can not, in any event, press you into any necessity of a precipitate withdrawal. A. LINCOLN.

P.S. Yours, preferring Mount Jackson, to Harrisonburg is just received. On this point, use your discretion, remembering that our object is to give such protection as you can to Western Virginia. Many thanks to yourself, officers, and men, for the gallant battle of last sunday. A. L.

Fremont had telegraphed from Harrisonburg, Virginia, June 11, “Will you allow me to halt at Mount Jackson instead of Harrisonburg, which is not a line of defense, and exposes me to be cut off. . . . My troops are very much distressed for want of supplies. . . .” Generals McDowell and Sigel reported to Stanton June 12, that “Jackson has been re-enforced to the number of 30,000 or 35,000 men.”  Stanton telegraphed Sigel on June 12 that “It cannot be possible that Jackson has any such re-enforcement as 30,000 or 35,000. . . . The President directs that your forces and Banks’ shall not fall back from Front Royal and their present positions until further developments.”

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