General McDowell had with him forty thousand men and ninety pieces of artillery. On the 21st of May, General McClellan sent another despatch, of some length, to the President. He explains to him the position of the army, and earnestly and respectfully expresses his regret at the delay of McDowell's advance. He tells the President frankly that the march of McDowell's column upon Richmond by the shortest land route will uncover Washington as completely as its movement by water; that the enemy cannot advance by Fredericksburg, and that if they attempt a movement, which to him seems utterly improbable, their route would be by Gordonsville and Manassas. In conclusion, he desires that the extent of his authority over General McDowell may be clearly defined, and suggests that the dangers of a divided command can only be surely guarded against by explicitly placing General McDowell under his orders in the usual way. On the 24th he received from the President a reply to the above, in which he suggests a plan of military movement against General Anderson in concert with General McDowell, assures him that
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