WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862—2.30 p. m.
What news from direction of Manassas Junction? What generally?
McClellan replied as follows:
CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA,Lincoln Replied:
August 29, 1862—2.45 p. m.The last news I received from the direction of Manassas was from stragglers, to the effect that the enemy were evacuating Centreville and retiring toward Thoroughfare 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 communications with Pope; Second, to leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe.
No middle ground will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do, and I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish to know what my orders and 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.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President.
WASHINGTON, August 29, 1862—4.10 p. m.
Yours of to-day just received. I think your first alternative, to wit, “to concen-
trate all our available forces to open communication with Pope,” is the right one, but
I wish not to control. That I now leave to General Halleck, aided by your counsels.