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The Inside history of the battles around Richmond — the instructions of McDowell — his correspondence with McClellan.

The Court of Inquiry now sitting at Washington to investigate the conduct of Gen. McDowell, is developing some curious and interesting facts about the Yankee campaign which ended with the battles around Richmond. We give some of them as worthy a place in the history of this war:

War Department, April 11, 1862.

To General McDowell, Commanding Department of the Rappahannock, headquarters at Manassas:
For the present and until further orders from this Department, you will consider the National Capital as especially under your protection, and make no movement throwing your force out of a position for the discharge of this primary duty.

(Signed) E. M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.

War Department, April 21, 1862.

General McDowell, Aquia Creek:
The President desires that you should not throw your force across the Rappahannock at present, but that you get your bridges and transportation all ready and wait further orders.

(Signed) E. M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.
[Then follows a letter from Gen. McDowell to the Department, stating that he was anxious to save one thousand barrels of flour in Fredericksburg.]

Washington, April 30, 1862.
To Gen. McDowell, Commanding Department of the Rappahannock:
The Secretary of War has given me authority to inform you that you can occupy Fredericksburg with such force as in your judgment may be necessary to hold it for defensive purposes, but not with a view to make a forward movement.

(Signed) H. Van Renssleer.
Inspector General.

War Department, Washington,May 17, 1862.

To Maj. Gen. McDowell, Commanding Department of the Rappahannock:
Upon being joined by Shields's division, you will move upon Richmond by the general route of the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad, co-operating with the forces under Gen. McClellan, now threatening Richmond from the line of the Patounkey and James rivers. While seeking to establish, as soon as possible, communication between your left wing and the right wing of McClellan, you will hold yourself always in such a position as to cover the capital of the nation against a sudden dash by any large body of the rebel forces. Gen. McClellan will be furnished with a copy of these instructions, and will be directed to hold himself in readiness to establish communication with your left, and prevent the main body of the enemy's army from leaving Richmond and throwing itself upon your column before the junction between the two armies is effected. A copy of his instructions in regard to the employment of your forces is annexed.

(Signed) E. M. Stanton,
Secretary of War.

Copy of instructions to Gen. McClellan.

War Department.Washington,May 17th, 1862.

Maj. Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, Commanding Army of the Potomac before Richmond:
General: Your dispatch to the President, asking for reinforcements, has been received and carefully considered. The President is not willing to uncover the capital entirely, and believed that even if this were prudent it would require more time to effect a junction between your army and that of the Rappahannock, by way of the Potomac and York rivers, than by a land march. In order, therefore, to increase the strength of the attack upon Richmond at the earliest moment, Gen. McDowell 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 Richmond, but charged, in attempting this, not to uncover the city of Washington, and you will give no orders, either before or after your junction, which can put him out of position to cover this city. You and he will communicate with each other by telegraph, or otherwise, as frequently as may be necessary for efficient co-operation. When General McDowell is in position on your right his supplies must be drawn from West Point, and you will Instruct your staff officers to be prepared to supply him by that route. The President directs that Gen. McDowell retain command of the Department of the Rappahannock and forces with which he moves forward.

(Signed) E. M. Stanton, Sec'y of War.

Gen. McDowell to Gen. McClellan.

Headq's Dep't of Rappahannock,Opposite Fredericksburg,May 20, 1862.

Major-Gen. George B. McClellan, Com'g Army of the Potomac, White House, Va.:
I have received the orders of the Secretary of War to move with the army under my command and co-operate with yours in the reduction of Richmond, and also a copy of his instructions to you in relation to that co-operation. Major-Gen. Shields will join me to-day as soon as the necessary preparations for the march can be completed, which I think will be by the 24th instant. We shall set forward in the general direction ordered.

There is in front of us to impede our advance the secession army of the Rappahannock, so called, under the command of J. R. Anderson, of the Tredegar Iron Works. His force is from twelve to fifteen thousand men, mostly South Carolina and Georgia troops. We should engage this force on our first day's march, as they are within six or eight miles of us, posted on and to the right and left of the F. and R. railroad, and in a position of considerable strength. It is my purpose to turn their position by throwing a large force on their left flank, and cut off their opportunity of receiving any reinforcements from the direction of Gordonsville, and at the same time endeavor to save the railroad bridges. If this can be done another channel of supplies can be had for the force going against Richmond that cannot fall giving a great relief to the Commissary and Quartermaster's departments of your army, and facilitate your operations. We cannot rely on this at present, because they now occupy the line and I am told are preparing to destroy the bridges if they are forced to fall back.

I beg to ask to what extent can I rely on co-operation from you in my present movement, in the way of your cutting off the retreat of the enemy upon Richmond, where they would add twelve thousand to the forces against you, and in saving the bridges across the Pamunkey; and to what point on the Pamunkey can you extend your right to join me, and to what point can you cause supplies to be placed for my command, and by what date can I count upon finding them these ready for me! I shall require subsistence for thirty-eight thousand men, and forage for eleven thousand animals.

Gen. Fremont has been ordered by telegraph to move from Franklin on Harrisonburg to relieve Gen. Banks and capture or destroy Jackson's or Ewell's forces.

You are instructed, laying aside for the present the movement on Richmond, to put twenty thousand men in motion at once for the Shenandoah moving on the line or in the advance of the Manassas Gap Railroad. Your object will be to capture the forces of Jackson and Ewell, either in co-operation

with Gen. Fremont, or in case of a want of supplies or transportation interferes with his movement, it is believed that the force with which you move will be sufficient to accomplish the object alone. The information thus received here makes it probable that if the enemy operate actively against Banks you will not be able to count upon much assistance from him, but may even have to release him. Reports received this moment are that Banks is fighting with Ewell eight miles from Winchester.

(Signed) Abraham Lincoln.

Dep't of the Rappahannock,May 24, 1862.
To E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
The President's order has been received, is in process of execution. This is a crushing blow to us.

(signed) Irwis McDowell,

War Department,Washington, May 24, 1862.
To Major-General McDowell:
I am highly gratified by your alacrity in obeying my orders. The change was as painful to me as it can possibly be to you or to any one. Everything now depends upon the celerity and vigor of your movement.

(Signed,) A. Lincoln,

Hdqrs. Dep'nt of Rappahannock,Opposite Fredericksburg. May 24, 1862.
To His Excellency the President:
I obey your order immediately, for it was positive and urgent, and perhaps, as a subordinate, there I ought to stop, but I trust I may be allowed to say something in relation to the subject, especially in view of your remark that everything now depends upon celerity and vigor of movement.

I beg to say that co-operation between General Fremont and myself to cut off Jackson or Ewell is not to be counted upon, even if it is not a practical impossibility. Next, that I am entirely beyond helping distance of General Banks, and no celerity or vigor will avail so far as he is concerned. Next, that by a glance at the map will be seen that the line of retreat of the enemy's force up the Valley is shorter than mine to go against him. It will take a week or ten days for my force to go to the Valley by this route, which will give it good forage, and by that time the enemy will have retreated. I shall gain nothing for you there, and shall lose much for you here. It is therefore, not only on personal grounds that I have a heavy heart in the matter, but that I feel it throws us all back, and from Richmond north we shall have all our large masses paralyzed, and shall have to repeat what we have just accomplished.

I have ordered Gen. Shields to commence a movement by tomorrow morning. A second division will follow in the afternoon.

Did I understand you aright that you wished me in accompany this expedition?

Very respectfully,
Irwin McDowell.
Gen. McClellan testified to the fact of his having received the following dispatches:

Gen. McDowell to Gen. McClellan.

Hdq'rs Dep't of the Rappahannock,Manassas, June 12th, 1862.

Maj. Gen. G. B. McClellan Commanding Department of Virginia, before Richmond:
The delay of Major-General Banks to relieve the division of my command in the valley beyond the time I had calculated on, will prevent my joining you with the remainder of the troops I am to take below at as early as day as I named. My third division (McCall's) is now on the way. Please do me the favor to so place it that it may be in a position to join the others as they come down from Fredericksburg.

Irwin McDowell.,
Major General Commanding.

General McDowell to General McClellan.

June 10, 1862.

Major Gen. McClellan, commanding Department of Virginia, before Richmond:
For the third time I am ordered to join you, and hope this time to get through. In view of the remarks made with reference to my leaving you and not joining you before by your friends, and of something I have heard as coming from you on that subject, I wish to say I go with the greatest satisfaction, and hope to arrive with my main body in time to be of service. McCall goes in advance by water. I will be with you in ten days with the remainder by Fredericksburg.

Irwin McDowell, Major-Gen'l comd'g.

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Irwis McDowell (17)
George B. McClellan (11)
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R. S. Ewell (4)
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