Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee Advising Against Sending Troops to Harper’s Ferry Without Equipment

21 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. 922

Headquarters,
Harper’s Ferry, Va., June 12, 1861.

General R. E. Lee, Commanding:

General: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 10th instant informing me that two regiments from Lynchburg have been ordered to report at Harper’s Ferry. Permit me to urge most respectfully the importance of equipping the troops ordered to this place before putting them en route. Ammunition and means of transportation cannot be obtained here. Without them, additional troops only make this command more helpless. Before the arrival of the Tennessee and Georgia regiments, our supply of ammunition and means of transportation were far too small. The further division makes us no more able to fight, and unable to march. It is much to be regretted, I think, that the Tennessee regiment was admitted into the service. It is without accouterments, instruction, or subordination.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Abandonment of Harper’s Ferry

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, p. 901

Headquarters Virginia Forces, Richmond, Va.,
June 3,1861.

Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston,
Commanding, &c., Harper’s Ferry, Va.:

Sir: I have received your letter of the 1st, inclosing report from Colonel Allen and a paper in relation to affairs near Grafton. In reference to the last, the latest reports received from Colonel Porterlield are more favorable than the report from Colonel Allen. A party has been ordered to secure the road at Cheat River and east of it, which I hope will effectually prevent its use. As regards Harper’s Ferry, its abandonment would be depressing to the cause of the South, and I have thought it possible that you might detach a portion of your force towards Martinsburg, the occupation of which, or a point on the Opequan, would strengthen your posts in front of Williamsport and at Shepherdstown. In addition to the First Tennessee Regiment, a regiment from Georgia has been ordered to join you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Defensibility of Harper’s Ferry (2)

15 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. 897-898

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., June 1, 1861.

General Joseph E. Johnston,
Commanding, &c., Harper’s Ferry, Va.:

General: In answer to your letter of the 31st ultimo, received by Col. H. A. Edmundson, I have to state that, since my letter to you of this morning, I have directed all the available companies at Staunton to proceed to Harper’s Ferry and to report to you for duty. The First Tennessee Regiment, now at this place, Colonel Turney, has also been directed to report to you as soon as practicable. With this re-enforcement, and such as you may be able to obtain from the valley, you may probably hold your position and prevent the passage of the Potomac by hostile troops until further troops can reach you. I think that no troops from Ohio have yet reached Grafton, as a special messenger from Colonel Porterfield reports the contrary, and that certain bridges on the Parkersburg road had been burned. Some little time must therefore elapse, in all probability, before a movement can be made against you from that direction. Information of the movements of troops in that direction might be obtained from friends in that region. Should you, however, be opposed by a force too large to resist, I can only repeat what is contained in my letter of this morning, viz, destroy everything that cannot be removed which may be of advantage to the enemy. Deprive them of the use of the railroad, take the field, and endeavor to arrest their advance up the valley.

I am, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.