To George B. McClellan

War Department,
Major Genl. McClellan Washington, D.C.,
Alexandria, Va. Aug. 29. 2/30. 1862.

What news from direction of Mannassas Junction? What generally? A. LINCOLN

McClellan replied at 2:45 P.M., “The last news I recd from the direction of Manassas was from stragglers to the effect that the enemy were evacuating Centreville & retirring towards Thorofare Gap this by no means reliable. I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted. First to concentrate all our available forces to open communication with Pope. Second to leave Pope to get out of his scrape & at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe. No middle course will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do & I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish to know what my orders & authority are. I ask for nothing but will obey whatever orders you give. I only ask a prompt decision that I may at once give the necessary orders. It will not do to delay longer.”


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