CAMP NEAR ALEXANDRIA, Sunday, April 6, 1862.
In my last letter I told you of the change in our destination, and surmised the causes. Yesterday the orders appeared creating the Departments of the Shenandoah and Rappahannock, assigning Banks to the command of one and McDowell to the other. Thus McClellan, at a blow, is deprived of two army corps on which he relied to carry out his plans. It is said an urgent telegram was received from him for McDowell to go down, just as the order was issued taking McDowell's corps from him. Many believe and hope he will resign; I trust he will not commit such a fatal error. He has over one hundred thousand men with him. This force, led by him and enthusiastic in his behalf, can accomplish much, and any success on his part will silence his enemies and reinstate him in favor.
SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 1, p. 256-7