Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard to President Jefferson Davis on the State of Affairs at Manassas

16 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, pp. 901-902

Department of Alexandria, Va.,
Provisional Army Confederate States,
Camp Pickens, Va., June 3, 1861.

His Excellency President Jefferson Davis, Richmond, Va.:

Dear Sir: I arrived here on the 1st, at 2 p. m., and immediately examined the site of this encampment and the place of its proposed defenses. The former is an open country, traversed by good roads in every direction, without any strong natural features for the purposes of defense, and without running water nearer than three miles, except a few small springs at half that distance. The plans of the works are good, but too extensive to be finished in less than two or three weeks, and cannot be garrisoned with less than from three to four thousand men. As this position can be turned in every direction by an enemy, for the purpose of destroying the railroads intended to be defended by it, it becomes a question whether these works could be held more than a few days when thus isolated.

I have reconnoitered closely several of the fords on Bull Run and one on Occoquan Run (about three miles from here), which offer strong natural features of defense; but they are so numorous and far apart that only a much larger force than I have here at my command (say not less than from ten to fifteen thousand men) could hope to defend them all against a well-organized enemy of about twenty thousand men, who could select his point of attack. I must therefore either be re-enforced at once, as I have not more than about six thousand effective men, or I must be prepared to retire, on the approach of the enemy, in the direction of Richmond, with the intention of arresting him whenever and wherever the opportunity shall present itself, or I must march to meet him at one of said fords, to sell our lives as dearly as practicable. Badly armed and badly equipped as my command is at present, with several of its regiments having but one or two field officers, and having hardly any means of transportation, it would be expecting too much that I could meet with success the Northern foes that are preparing to attack us within a few days with all the advantages of arms, numbers, and discipline. I beg, however, to remark that my troops are not only willing, but are anxious, to meet the enemies of our country under all circumstances.

I remain, dear sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.


Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: