Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard to Sec. of War LeRoy Pope Walker, on Advance to Positions Forward of Bull Run

28 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. 947

Headquarters
Army of the Potomac, Manassas Junction, Va., June 23, 1861.

Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that, in consequence of the large re-enforcements I have lately received, I have divided my forces into six brigades, as per inclosed statement,* and commenced a forward movement to protect my advanced position at Centreville, Fairfax Court-House, and Sangster’s Cross-Roads, and also to be within striking distance of the enemy, whose advance positions seem to be at and to the rear of Falls Church (seven -miles from Alexandria), where they have five regiments (First and Second Connecticut, First and Second Ohio, and Sixty-ninth New York), one troop of cavalry, and one light battery. They have also four companies at Annandale.

My advanced forces (three brigades of three regiments each) occupy the triangle represented by Mitchell’s Ford (Bull Run), one regiment; Centreville and a point half way to Germantown, one brigade; Germantown and Fairfax Court-House, one brigade; at the crossing of Braddock’s old road with the Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station roads, one regiment; at the latter station, one regiment and one battalion, and at Sangster’s Cross-Roads, one battalion. All these positions are in easy and short communication with each other and with these headquarters. Most of my cavalry is with the advance, scouting, reconnoitering, &c. One light battery is at Fairfax Court-House with General Bonham’s brigade, and another is to be sent to Centreville to act with Colonel Cocke’s brigade. I unfortunately have none to spare for my other brigades. I have thrown eight miles in advance of the latter town or village one battalion of infantry and two companies of cavalry to observe the country towards the Potomac and the movements of the enemy in that direction. As already reported to the Department, one regiment (Sloan’s South Carolina) has been ordered to Leesburg, to assist Col. E. Hunton in the defense of that important position. I regret much my inability to send him some artillery.

I must call the attention of the Department to the great deficiency of my command in ammunition, not averaging more than twenty rounds in all per man. If I were provided with the necessary materials, molds, &c., I think I could establish here a cartridge manufactory which could supply all our wants in that respect. Could not a similar arrangement be made at all hospital depots, State arsenals, penitentiaries, &c.? To go into battle each soldier ought to be provided with at least forty rounds of cartridges, and not less than sixty rounds in reserve.

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

G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

*See General Orders, No. 20, p. 943


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