Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Philip St. George Cocke Urging Him to Sustain Col. George H. Terrett

2 12 2020

CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861

CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. – CONFEDERATE

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 845

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 15,1861.

Col. P. St. George Cocke,
Commanding, &c., Culpeper Court-House, Va.;

Colonel : I have received your letter of the 14th instant, and am gratified at your arrangements for the defense of Manassas Junction, and the favorable account you give of the country towards the Potomac for defensive operations. I hope, by a judicious use of its natural obstacles, that the march of a hostile column will be much embarrassed. I have to request that you will endeavor to fill up Colonel Garland’s and Colonel Preston’s regiments from the companies that will report to you, as desired in my letter of the 10th instant, and as soon as you are able to form other regiments that you will send such re-enforcements to Manassas Junction as in your judgment may be necessary or as may be requested by Colonel Terrett. Please direct the troops you may send to the Junction to report to Colonel Garland, and place them under Colonel Terrett’s orders. I beg leave also to request that you will give to Colonel Terrett the benefit of your information and advice respecting the troops and country in which he is operating. It is desired to strengthen that whole line as rapidly as the organization of troops will admit, to resist any attack from the forces at Washington. Hitherto it was impossible to concentrate an adequate force for the defense of Alexandria, an abortive attempt at which would, in my opinion, have had no other effect than to hazard the destruction of the city. The posts at Norfolk and Harper’s Ferry, which seemed to be first threatened, being in some measure fortified, our resources can now be applied to your line of operations. Should an advance be made on Colonel Terrett, or an intention be manifested to seize the Manassas Junction, you are desired to sustain Colonel Terrett with your whole force.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major-General, Commanding.


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