Washington City, June 28, 1862.
Save your army at all events. Will send re-enforcements as fast as we can. Of course they cannot reach you to-day, to-morrow, or next day. I have not said you were ungenerous for saying you needed re-enforcements. I thought you were ungenerous in assuming that I did not send them as fast as I could. I feel any misfortune to you and your army quite as keenly as you feel it yourself. If you have had a drawn battle or a repulse it is the price we pay for the enemy not being in Washington. We protected Washington and the enemy concentrated on you. Had we stripped Washington, he would have been upon us before the troops could have gotten to you. Less than a week ago you notified us that re enforcements were leaving Richmond to come in front of us. It is the nature of the case, and neither you nor the Government are to blame. Please tell at once the present condition and aspect of things.
P. S. – General Pope thinks if you fall back it would be much better toward York River than toward the James. As Pope now has charge of the capital, please confer with him through the telegraph.
SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 11, Part 3 (Serial No. 14), p. 269; Roy P. Basler, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5, p. 289-90; John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 173.