President Jefferson Davis to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Reinforcements

30 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. 973-974

Richmond, July 10, 1861.

General Joseph E. Johnston:

My Dear Sir: General Gist, the adjutant-general of South Carolina, goes to your headquarters to make himself useful to you in any way he can serve you, and it gives me pleasure to commend him to your polite attention.

Your letter found me trying by every method to hasten re-enforcements to you, but small as our force is, the want of transportation does not allow me to send such as we have except at a rate which makes me heartsick. I am still endeavoring to induce an increase of transportation, and hope, if not too late, to be able in a few days materially to increase your force. Everybody disappoints me in their answers to my requisitions for troops, and the last hope of a large force of militia coming to your aid seems doomed to add another to past disappointments.

I know you will [do] whatever is possible, and that you will only follow the dictates of your own good judgment and true patriotism. The anxiety of the reckless and the short-sighted policy of the selfish may urge you to fight when your judgment decides otherwise. The responsibility is great. I have tried for a week to get off and join you, but have not been able to do so, without having arrangements for procuring and forwarding troops to be delayed if not deranged.

I have ordered two officers of experience to go to you to-morrow; Colonel Forney’s regiment, will, I suppose, get off in the morning, if not this evening, and more shall go as fast as the railroad will permit. General Beauregard is expecting an attack, and asks for ten thousand men. Magruder wants four thousand. Garnett is lamentably weak, but with re-enforcements now on the way will, I hope, prevent a junction of McClellan and Patterson. Mansfield was reported to be in Washington on yesterday.

May God bless and direct you in this critical hour of our national existence.

Your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.


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