Col. George H. Terrett to Lt. Col. Thomas Jordan, A. A. G., the Capture of Capt. Mottram Dulany Ball

11 12 2020

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

REPORTS, ETC. – CONFEDERATE

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 43-44

No. 5. Reports of Col. George H. Terrett, C. S. Forces, commanding at Alexandria.

Manassas Junction, Va.,
Camp Pickens, May 28, 1861.

Sir: In obedience to instructions from headquarters, of this day’s date, in regard to the capture of Captain Ball and his troop, I have to report that, on the morning of the 24th instant, about 1.30 a. m., Captain Ball came to my quarters and reported that one of the vedettes, stationed at the Chain Bridge, about three miles west of Georgetown, D. C., had informed him that a squadron of cavalry had crossed over to the Virginia shore. I immediately ordered my command under arms, to await further orders. About 5.30 a. m. an officer was sent from the steamer Pawnee, Northern Navy, to inform me that an overwhelming force was about entering the city of Alexandria, and it would be madness to resist, and that I could have until 9 a. m. to evacuate or surrender. I then ordered the troops under my command to assemble at the place designated by me on assuming command in Alexandria, that I might either resist or fall back, as circumstances might require. As soon as the troops were formed, which was promptly done, I repaired to the command, and then, ascertaining that the enemy were entering the city by Washington street, and that several steamers had been placed so that their guns could command many of the principal streets, I ordered the command to march, and proceeded out of the city by Duke street. Captain Ball accompanied me as far as his quarters, a little west of the railroad depot, where he halted, and I proceeded to the cars, which were about half a mile from the depot, where I had ordered them to be stopped, and, from orders given before marching out of the city, the cavalry was to follow in my rear, for the purpose of giving me information in regard to the movements of the enemy. Captain Powell followed my instructions, and why Captain Ball did not I am unable to report.

Respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

GEO. H. TERRETT,
Colonel, Commanding Alexandria.

Lieut. Col. Thomas Jordan,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Filed here as Official Correspondence, but in the Official Records as Reports.]

[Mottram Dulany Ball – Border Guards/Fairfax Cavalry. Captured 5/24/61 at Alexandria. Reported as captured at Alexandria with his troop on May 28, 1861. Paroled and served as scout for G. T. Beauregard prior to exchange. Exchanged 9/21/1862. Later Lt. Col. of 11th VA Cavalry. (thanks J. Soffe)]


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