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[291] four days later, issued his Special War Order No. I, directing that after providing safely for the defense of Washington, it should move against the Confederate army at Manassas Junction, on or before the date announced.

As McClellan had been allowed to have his way almost without question for six months past, it was, perhaps, as much through mere habit of opposition as from any intelligent decision in his own mind that he again requested permission to present his objections to the President's plan. Mr. Lincoln, thereupon, to bring the discussion to a practical point, wrote him the following list of queries on February 3:

My Dear Sir: You and I have distinct and different plans for a movement of the Army of the Potomac-yours to be down the Chesapeake, up the Rappahannock, to Urbana, and across land to the terminus of the railroad On the York River; mine, to move directly to a point on the railroad southwest of Manassas.

If you will give me satisfactory answers to the following questions, I shall gladly yield my plan to yours.

First. Does not your plan involve a greatly larger expenditure of time and money than mine?

Second. Wherein is a victory more certain by your plan than mine?

Third. Wherein is a victory more valuable by your plan than mine?

Fourth. In fact, would it not be less valuable in this, that it would break no great line of the enemy's communications, while mine would?

Fifth. In case of disaster, would not a retreat be more difficult by your plan than mine?

Instead of specifically answering the President's concise

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