McDowell’s Abstract of Forces Under His Command

31 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 726


McDowell Forwards Intelligence on Enemy Dispositions to Army Headquarters

31 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 722-723

[Memorandum for General Scott.]

Hdqrs. Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, June 25, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters of Army:

Statement of Mr. J—–u, a man on whom I rely:

Arrived at Fairfax Court-House Thursday, 20th instant; found there Prince William company and the Rappahannock—about sixty-five in each company. Friday morning these companies went to Fairfax Station, leaving nobody in the town. Friday night the South Carolina regiments began to come, and Saturday night it was said there were three regiments at the Court-House and another coming; saw the three himself—amounting to about 3,000 men. Started for the Junction about 8.30; went by Germantown and Centreville. At Germantown saw Gregg’s South Carolina regiment—about 1,000. The road between Fairfax and Centreville much obstructed about one mile before you get to the Bald Hill, where there are five cannon planted.

At Centreville, Bonham, of South Carolina, was in command. He had other troops besides his own regiment and the artillery. At Bull Bun there was an entrenchment on the right bank—four guns. Two regiments of South Carolinians stationed there; they had been there but a short time. Bull Bun Crossing is five miles from Centreville and two from Manassas Junction. Arrived at Manassas Junction at 10 o’clock a. m.; saw General Beauregard; staid until 3 p. m.; returned the same way he went. On reaching Bull Run, found the South Carolina regiments had struck their tents, had their wagons packed, and were moving in the direction of Centreville and Fairfax Court-House, taking their four cannon with them, occupying the road for about two miles. Had a difficulty in passing the column. The colonel asked if he had a pass; showed him one from General Beauregard; was then allowed to pass. He was cautioned by the colonel not to speak of movements of troops even to their own men. These regiments did not come to the Court-House. At Centreville things were not as they were when he went through first. At Germantown found Gregg’s regiment had broken up its camp and moved to the Court-House, and was encamped near the Little River turnpike, about one-quarter mile from the Court-House. Learned that Gregg’s place at Germantown had been supplied by another regiment or regiments, and supposes it may have been by those he passed at Bull Bun and those which were on the march to the front.
At Fairfax Station there were about 800 men—Virginians. The South Carolina regiments were all (except one—Spratt’s) about 1,000 men each. Forty of Gregg’s regiment had the measles. The two regiments on the march from Bull Bun had about fifty wagons for their baggage and supplies, old road and farmers’ wagons, five to six horses each. Wagons well crammed up to the bows. The South Carolina regiments were the best armed and equipped and in high spirits, “freezing for a fight,” being much elated by the Vienna affair. Negroes with them as servants. Cavalry, estimated, all told, 1,500; 500 Louisianians and 1,000 Virginians; mounted so-so as to Virginians; those from Louisiana good. Virginia cavalry armed irregularly with double-barreled shot-guns, pistols, fowling-pieces, some carbines, and sabers. Horse furniture indifferent, made up of odds and ends. Louisiana cavalry better in all respects—men, horses, arms, and equipments. The total at the Junction and the places this side he estimated at 20,000, all told. There are twenty Kentucky well-mounted guerrillas. Five of them took the Connecticut man prisoner. The Connecticut man seemed well pleased with being a prisoner. Subsistence, chiefly ship biscuit and fresh beef. Crops—wheat very fine; grass, corn, and oats indifferent. They seemed to be expecting an attack from us. Saw no guns at Germantown. Saw five guns harnessed at Court-House. Saw five guns at Centreville. Saw four guns at Bull Bun.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier- General.

Interview: Dixon, “Radical Warrior”

27 10 2020

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I interviewed David T. Dixon previously with the release of The Lost Gettysburg Address.”You can read the interview here to learn about that book and to get a little background information on David that I won’t repeat here. His most recent work, Radical Warrior: August Willich’s Journey from German Revolutionary to Union General, is available from the University of Tennessee Press, and you can order it on David’s site here. David took the time to answer a few questions about his new book.

BR: I’ve always been mildly intrigued by the story of, for lack of a better term, “Marxists” in the Union army. I got a little more of a boost when I ran across your man’s name while browsing a biography of Friedrich Engels. But for you, why the interest in August Willich? 

DTD: First of all, the term “Marxist” did not exist in the 1860s, as Karl Marx was little known outside of a small circle of radicals. His economic philosophies only gained widespread notice following his death. There were, as you mention, numerous communists and socialists in the Union Army, especially among exiled European revolutionaries. My interest in Willich stems not so much from his political orientation but more from his compelling life story and the need to bring outstanding but obscure general officers like him to the attention of Civil war enthusiasts.

BR: Can you give us a brief sketch of Willich’s life?

DTD: Willich was born into the Prussian lesser nobility known as Junkers. His father was a decorated cavalry solider in the Napoleonic Wars, but died early as a result of his war wounds, orphaning three-year-old August Willich. August grew up in the household of German philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher, who was called the father of German liberal theology. After attending the Prussian cadet schools and military academy, Willich embarked on a 17-year-career as a lieutenant in the Prussian artillery. Exposure to republican ideas, however, caused him to leave the army and rebel against his king in the revolutions of 1848 and 1849. While a political refugee in London, he fought a duel with an acolyte of fellow Communist League leader Karl Marx, whom Willich thought was not radical enough to overthrow the princes of Europe. Willich journeyed to America in 1853 and edited a German language newspaper in Cincinnati; the first daily labor paper in any language in the U.S. He was an ardent abolitionist and champion of workers and welcomed the coming of the Civil War as a war to destroy what he saw as a slaveholder aristocracy in the Confederate states and validate the principles of republican government and universal human rights. His experience and leadership talent in the military arts led him to advance quickly through the ranks from private in April 1861 to brigadier general in July 1862. He fought with great tactical skill and bravery in most of the largest engagements in the Western theatre until a sniper’s bullet ended his combat career at Resaca in May 1864. He died at St Marys, Ohio in January 1878. The New York Times praised Willich as “undoubtedly the ablest and bravest officer of German descent engaged in the war of rebellion.”

BR: What did you find while researching Willich that most surprised or impressed you?

DTD: I am most impressed by Willich’s extraordinary self-sacrifice and lifelong commitment to social justice. He renounced his noble status, alienated his family, abandoned a successful military career, foreswore marriage and children, and was exiled from his homeland all because he believed wholeheartedly in free government and human rights. He never strayed from his moral compass.

BR: Can you describe how long it took to write the book, what the stumbling blocks were, what you discovered along the way that surprised you or went against the grain, what firmed up what you already knew? When did you know you were “done”?

DTD: Research on the book took about two years. The fact that so many German language primary sources were in barely legible Kurrentschrift handwriting or archaic Fraktur print and spread all over western Europe and America was more than challenging. I traveled to Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland to walk in Willich’s footsteps and, of course, tramped the US Civil war battlefields where had had his most significant engagements. The best surprise, given that my bachelor general left no collection of personal papers, were the timely and intimate letters I found in numerous collections all over the world. This, combined with two pamphlets he wrote and his daily newspaper editorials, gave me plenty of material to work with. I knew I was “done” when I felt I could tell the story completely and add enough scholarly context to tell it intelligently. But of course, one is never really done with the research and I hope my book will encourage others, especially in Germany, to dig deeper and reveal answers to still unsolved mysteries about this man’s life.

BR: I’ve asked you this before, but can you describe your research and writing process? Particularly, how did writing your prior work affect how you approached this one.

DTD: So glad you asked this question. The process was very different from The Lost Gettysburg Address in two ways. In that first book, I had an embarrassment of riches in terms of primary sources; 45 boxes of personal letters to and from Charles Anderson at one archive alone! The challenge was what to include and exclude. As I mentioned, I really had to dig deep and wide for the Willich archival gold. Most importantly, I learned the value of peer collaboration in my Willich biography. I was fortunate to have a volunteer translator in Germany, a small platoon of expert peer readers, and formed a partnership with a German PhD candidate. He and I traveled in Europe and America together as he researched Willich for his dissertation.

BR: How has the book been received so far?

DTD: I have been so pleased with the feedback so far. Early reviewers have been very kind and invitations for interviews and podcasts have been streaming in. Launching a book during a pandemic is challenging. All my in person speaking engagements either canceled or postponed, so I feel very fortunate that the book has received so much attention online.

BR: What’s next for you?

DTD: I have a book proposal ready to go and a fair bit of research completed on another biography. I will use that one as a case study to examine the impact of emotions of allegiance and Confederate dissent. With archives closed, the project is on ice, so I have spent more time publishing short form pieces in magazines and on the Emerging Civil War blog. Long term, I would really love to transition from university press publishing to a trade press to reach a much larger readership. All I need is a great story and a bit of serendipity. Wish me luck!

Image: Pvt. William J. Hubbard, 18th Virginia Infantry

24 10 2020


Pvt. William J, Hubbard, Co. H, 18th VA Infantry (Post-war image courtesy of Appomattox Court House National Historic Park)

Those Plans (Plural) of June “24,” 1861

24 10 2020

Today’s update to the Correspondence – USA Official page of the Resources section is Irvin McDowell’s June 24th response to Winfield Scott’s June 20th request for a plan for his force to cooperate with that of Maj. Gen. (of PA Militia) Robert Patterson’s force to “sweep the enemy from Leesburg to towards Alexandria.” A few things to keep in mind:

  • McDowell took four days to respond to Scott’s request. Patterson’s response came in just one day.
  • Neither man seemed very enthusiastic about the project, to put it lightly.
  • McDowell’s response to Scott’s request should in no way be construed as having anything at all to do with his plans to move against Beauregard at Manassas Junction. In my opinion, some historians have done exactly this, particularly pertaining to McDowell’s plans against Bory having some sort of “requirement” regarding Patterson’s responsibilities. McDowell clearly cast out that excuse after the fact and the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War (JCCCW) took the bait, but I see no validity in it whatsoever.
  • McDowell’s plans for the movement against Manassas is dated by the compilers as “about June 24, 1861.” This seems odd because McDowell sent his plan for the Leesburg/Alexandria proposal on June 24th. So why was he sending another plan on the same day? I suspect it was written later, but perhaps it was written after some discussion with Scott on the 24th (the second plan was submitted, McDowell says, “in compliance with the verbal instructions of the General-in-Chief”). If so, McDowell sure came up with that plan fast. Another possibility is that he didn’t like the plan to co-operate with Patterson and anticipated that he would be asked for an alternative, and so came up with one in advance. Maybe that’s why it took him four days to respond. Would love to know the compilers’ reasoning for the assumed date. Guess I’ll need to see the actual document. (Keep in mind that the published Official Records – the “ORs” – are NOT in and of themselves primary documents. They’re transcriptions of primary documents.)

McDowell’s Plan for the Proposed Movement from Alexandria to Leesburg

24 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 718-719

Hdqrs. Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, June 24, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army:

Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following, in answer to your letter of June 21, in reference to a column to co-operate from this position with a movement to be made with a portion of Major-General Patterson’s command “to sweep the enemy from Leesburg towards Alexandria.” For a better understanding of what follows, I have the honor to transmit a map, which I have had prepared, showing the position of our troops and of that of the enemy in front of it. There is at Manassas Junction and the places in its front or immediate vicinity a force of from 23,000 to 25,000 infantry and about 2,000 cavalry and a supply of well-provided artillery. The advanced position of this force is at Centreville, Germantown, Fairfax Court-House, and Fairfax Station, the numbers and proportion at each varying from time to time. How much of a force is beyond Manassas Gap, in the valley, and could be brought within the operations here contemplated, I have no means of judging. There is nothing to hinder their coming, and unless they are kept engaged by our troops around Harper’s Ferry, re-enforcements, in case of serious operations from that section would have to be guarded against, as would also those from places to the south of Manassas, on the line of the railroad to Richmond or Lynchburg, which would be pressed forward whenever it should become known we were moving upon them or they upon us in any force.

I have not learned that the troops in our front are fully provided with transportation, though I am satisfied they are not so deficient as we have supposed, and not as much so as we are at this time ourselves, for the Quartermaster-General, after supplying yesterday transportation for two regiments to move each about six miles, had but three horses left.

We have in this department, good, bad, and indifferent, twenty regiments of infantry, giving an aggregate of less than 14,000; four companies of cavalry, giving about 250; one battery of regular artillery of six rifled guns; one battery of volunteer artillery, smooth-bores—an excellent company, but not accustomed to their guns, and hardly fit for service in the field. There are three companies of regular artillery, but they are in the earthworks, and not available for field service. The General-in-Chief was pleased to say he wished I would fight this project of a combined movement to sweep away the enemy from Leesburg towards Alexandria with him step by step. I take advantage of this permission, if, indeed, I do not obey a command, to say that it seems to me the distance between General Patterson’s force and this one is so great, and the line of march each has to take is such (a flank exposed), that, in my view, the force to move from each position should be constituted without reference to material support from the other. I am thought by those for whose judgment I have great respect, and who have been on the ground, to hazard something in having my advanced position so near Falls Church, when it is thrown forward from the right of the line, Fort Corcoran, and there are means of re-enforcing it promptly by the Georgetown turnpike and the railroad to Alexandria.

What would be our position if a movement is made to the right, at this the right bank of the Potomac, towards Leesburg? In the first place, as we are for any such purpose without means of wagon transportation, we should be obliged to repair and use the railroad; but whether this was done or not, we should march with the left flank of the column exposed to attack from their advanced positions, and on getting as far to the right as Vienna, have our line exposed to interruption, for Vienna is nearer to the enemy than it is to Falls Church or the camps on the Georgetown road.

To go farther to the right could not safely be done, even by a force superior to that the enemy can bring against us. I think a glance at the map will show this. Any reverse happening to this raw force, pushed farther along, with the enemy on the flank and rear and an impassable river on the right, would be fatal. I do not think, therefore, it safe to risk anything from this position in the direction of Leesburg farther than Vienna, seven miles by the Leesburg turnpike from Falls Church, and even to go there the force should be large. Vienna could be supplied or re-enforced—

1st. By the Leesburg road from Falls Church.
2d. By the railroad from Alexandria.
3d. By the dirt road from Ball’s Cross-Roads.

The first two are liable to interruption unless strongly guarded, and the third is an indifferent road and a long one. The force, then, to go as far as Vienna should be large enough to hold the position for several hours, and should be well supplied with artillery and cavalry and strengthened by such defenses as could be readily thrown up. Vienna being held in force, and offensively, would cover the country from the Difficult Creek well towards Goose Creek from any force of the enemy operating from Manassas Junction or its dependencies, and I have never heard of there being over 500 men, mostly local troops, at Leesburg. As it would be constantly liable to be attacked by all the available force of the enemy and is only a few hours’ march from him, it would be necessary to have strong reserves ready at either Falls Church or the camp of the Ohio brigade.

The force sufficient to hold Vienna cannot well be stated, because of the changes which are taking place in front of us. I do not think it prudent to go there with less than 8,000 infantry, a battery of field regular rifled artillery, with some guns in position, and six companies of cavalry, and the line from Fort Corcoran to General Tyler to be held as strong as at present, and a reserve on that line of 3,000 men; some of the force to be organized into small field brigades, as heretofore proposed, under regular colonels.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Col. Ambrose Burnside to Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott on the Progress of the 1st Rhode Island Infantry to Brig. Gen. Patterson’s Command

23 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 715-716

Camp Sprague,
Washington, D. C., June 22, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. W. Scott, Headquarters U. S. Army:

Sir: I have the honor to report that the regiment under my command, in pursuance to orders from headquarters of the U. S. Army, departed from Washington on Monday, June 10, for the purpose of joining the column of Major-General Patterson, then moving from Chambersburg upon Harper’s Ferry. The battery of artillery attached to the command, with the baggage, preceded the main body of the regiment twelve hours.

Early upon Monday morning we left camp, and, marching to the station of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, entered the cars prepared for our transportation, and were carried to Baltimore. The command was composed of 1,128 men and 117 officers, accompanied by a long wagon train. The passage through Baltimore was peacefully made, and, taking the cars of the Northern Central Railroad, the entire regiment reached Chambersburg, Pa., on the morning of Tuesday, June 11, when I immediately reported to Major-General Patterson for duty. Still proceeding by rail, we reached Greencastle at noon, and encamped. The command remained in camp at Greencastle until Saturday morning, when, in conjunction with the First Brigade of Major-General Patterson’s column, under command of Colonel Thomas, the line of march was taken up for Williamsport, Md. That place was reached at noon, and occupied by the force of which this regiment formed a part.

On Sunday a portion of the battery of artillery was ordered across the Potomac to Falling Waters; but, in accordance with orders from Major-General Patterson, it was recalled on Monday, and the regiment, once more complete, commenced its march at an early hour for Frederick City. The route lay through Hagerstown, Boonsborough, and Middletown, and in these places the command was received with enthusiastic demonstrations of favor. The march continued through the entire day and a part of the following night, with an interval of three hours for rest at Boonsborough.

At 12.30 a. m. on Tuesday the regiment bivouacked in the immediate vicinity of Frederick, having accomplished a march of thirty-three miles. Soon after sunrise the regiment marched into the city, and remained there through the day.

At 7 p. m. we left Frederick by rail and proceeded to Washington, arriving at 6 o’clock on Wednesday morning, June 19. It gives me pleasure to assure the General-in-Chief of the gratification which I feel at the bearing and conduct of the command during this expedition. The fatigues of the way were endured with fortitude, and had any danger threatened I have no doubt that it would have been bravely met. As it is, I cannot avoid the expression of my satisfaction that the object of the expedition in which this regiment participated was attained in safety and without the loss of life. The command is now in an effective condition for the further service of the Government of the United States.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Comdg. First Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler to Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell on Intimated Retrograde Movement to Ball’s Crossroads

22 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 713-715

Headquarters Tyler’s Brigade,
Camp McDowell, June 22, 1861.

To Brigadier-General McDowell,
Commanding Department N. E. Virginia:

General: Your intimation yesterday that we might be ordered to fall back to Ball’s Cross-Roads took me so by surprise, that I went at once to your headquarters to see if there was not some mistake in the matter, and, not finding you, returned immediately back.

Since I have been in my present position I have used every possible means to connect it with our present line of operations, and also with the probable movements of the enemy, and I am satisfied that to abandon it would be the greatest mistake we could commit, and for the following reasons:

  1. It is so situated as to give you the best possible position to observe the enemy and to obtain the very earliest possible information as to any movement he can make towards Washington.
  2. It is the strongest and most defensible military position, except that about Shooter’s Hill, that I have seen between Washington and four miles of Fairfax Court-House, and is so situated that it must be attacked and carried before it would be safe for any enemy to make any forward movement on Ball’s Cross-Roads or Bailey’s Cross-Roads, as a movement on Bailey’s Cross-Roads would expose the enemy to a flank attack from the troops situated at Falls Church and a movement on Ball’s Cross-Roads to a rear attack, and neither of these crossings is more than two and a half miles from Falls Church.
  3. As the enemy’s pickets before our arrival here were in possession of the ground in our front, I am satisfied the moment we leave the position it will be occupied, and, in connection with the possession of Vienna, will give him the possession of a line that it will cost us thousands of men to drive him from it, and we shall have to do it if he is strong enough to sustain an advance.
  4. A retrograde, if followed by the occupation of the Falls Church position, as it will be, will enable the enemy to control the entire valley of the Four Mile Run, from Vienna to within two miles of Roach’s Mills, and if they have twenty thousand men, everything else being equal, fifty thousand men cannot drive them out.
  5. A retrograde movement (I will not consider its effects on the country) will have a most injurious effect on the Union men in this vicinity (and they are in considerable numbers), and thus must necessarily leave with us or be killed.

The above, general, are only some of the reasons that present themselves to my mind in opposition to a retrograde movement, which I think can be prevented and our position here perfectly secured by posting three regiments at Ball’s Cross-Roads and as many at Bailey’s Cross-Roads, which will bring the whole front from Georgetown, Falls Church, and Alexandria within short supporting positions. With a single battery of light artillery and a couple of hundred of cavalry, with two Connecticut and the two Ohio regiments, I can hold our position at Falls Church for two hours against ten thousand men, counting time from the moment our pickets will notify us of the approach of the enemy, and that will give us time to be supported from Ball’s and Bailey’s Cross-Roads and the New Jersey regiments at Roach’s Mills, leaving the troops at Alexandria and those in the vicinity of Arlington, Georgetown, and Washington near enough to sustain us in case we should be overmatched, which I do not think we should be. At all events, we would give time enough for these troops to come to our relief.

Before a retrograde movement is made I would like to canvass this matter with yourself and General Scott. Since I came here my mind has been constantly occupied with the subject of my position here, and I think I understand as well as any engineer officer or officers who may come out here and pass half an hour examining it and then return to Washington with a report. I know that these things must be, but 1 must confess that I felt mortified that two gentlemen of the Engineers should come into my camp under instructions, as I now find, to examine and pass upon the most important military positions in our whole line, which had been selected by me, and not have the courtesy to invite my attendance or call my attention to the fact that they were on any official duty.

When I had the honor to have a commission in the line of the United States, many years ago, the etiquette of service would not excuse such neglect, even in the scientific officers of the Army.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Ohio Brigade. Hagerstown, June 22, 1861.

Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson’s Plan for the Proposed Movement from Leesburg to Alexandria

21 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 711-712

Hagerstown, Md., June 21, 1861.

Col. E. D. Townsend,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. 8. Army, Washington City:

Colonel: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the telegram of the General-in-Chief calling for a plan of operations with a portion of my force to sweep the enemy from Leesburg, &c. Inclosed is a copy of my telegraphic reply. The following is my plan more in detail:

To carry out the views of the General-in-Chief I propose—

First. To occupy the Maryland Heights with a brigade (2,100 men); fortify and arm with Doubleday’s artillery, and provision for twenty days, to secure against investment.

Second. To move all supplies to Frederick, and immediately thereafter abandon this line of operations; threaten with a force to open a route through Harper’s Ferry, this force to be the sustaining one for the command on Maryland Heights.

Third. To send everything else available (horse, foot, and artillery) to cross the Potomac near Point of Rocks, and unite with Colonel Stone at Leesburg. From that point I can operate as circumstances shall demand and your orders require. If no blow is to be struck here, I think this change of position important to keep alive the ardor of our men as well as to force an enemy.

The reasons for this change of depot will be so apparent to the General-in-Chief that I need not refer to them. By the employment of the local transportation of the country I can soon make the necessary changes, and will hasten to carry out your orders.

I have many reports in regard to the movements of the force opposite us in Virginia, and have reason to believe that when the regulars were withdrawn, General Johnston, with thirteen thousand men and twenty-two pieces of artillery, was marching to the attack, and that night posted his force, expecting from us an attack the following morning. I regret we did not meet the enemy, so confident am I that, with this well-appointed force, the result would have been favorable to us, and that this portion of Virginia would now be peaceably occupied.

Reports of the enemy having returned to Harper’s Ferry and had driven the occupants to this shore reached me yesterday. I immediately dispatched a strong force to take position in the vicinity of Sharpsburg and protect all parties on this side of the river, and drive back any force which may attempt to cross.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major-General, Commanding.


Hagerstown, Md., June 21, 1861.

Col. E. D. Townsend, Washington City:

The telegram of the General-in-Chief of yesterday was received at midnight. To carry out proposed plan I think involves a change of depot to Frederick and evacuation of Williamsport and Hagerstown. With an enemy close at hand, a move suddenly, with present amount of transportation, necessitates sending a large mass of stores back to Harrisburg or their abandonment.

Maryland Heights can be secured, and Frederick also, and a strong force of infantry, some cavalry, and artillery sent via Frederick to Leesburg to sweep the enemy from that point to Alexandria. If no blow is to be struck here, and this meets the views of the General-in-Chief, I will at once commence moving, and be in position to act at the earliest practicable moment. I send a regiment to-day to Frederick at the urgent solicitation of the governor. I shall write in full by mail. Reconnaissance of heights being made. Send your telegrams via Harrisburg, Chambersburg, &c. Frederick line cannot be relied upon.

Major-General, Commanding.

Army A. A. G. E. D. Townsend to Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell on Proposed Movement from Alexandria to Leesburg

21 10 2020



O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 711

Washington, June 21, 1861.

Brigadier-General McDowell, U. S. A.:

Sir: The General-in-Chief sends you the inclosed copy of instructions to Major-General Patterson,* and desires you to propose a column to co-operate from this end, according to the outline plan indicated.
I am, &c.,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

*See Scott to Patterson, June 20, p. 709.