Dowell has been ordered to march upon that city by the shortest route.
He is ordered — keeping himself always in a position to cover the capital from all possible attack — so to operate as to put, his left wing in communication with your right, and you are instructed to co-operate so as to establish this communication as soon as possible, by extending your right wing to the north of Richmond.--It is believed that this communication can be safely established, either north or south of the Pamunkey river.
In any event you will be able to prevent the main body of the enemy's forces from leaving Richmond and falling in overwhelming force upon General McDowell.
He will move with between thirty-five and forty thousand men. A copy of the instructions to Major-Gen. McDowell are with this.
The specific task a signed to his command has been to provide against any danger to the capital of the nation.
At your earliest call for reinforcements he is sent forward to co-operate in the reduction of