Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Col. Robert S. Garnett on Federal Movements

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. 898-899

Headquarters, Harper’s Ferry, Va.,
June 1, 1861.

Colonel Garnett, Adjutant-General Virginia Forces:

Colonel: I respectfully transmit herewith Colonel Allen’s last report, and a paper in relation to affairs near Grafton, for the information of the General Commanding-in-Chief.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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

[Inclosure No. 1.]

Headquarters First Infantry,
Camp Johnston, Va., May 31, 1861.

Brigadier-General Johnston:

Sir: I have the honor to report the following information, just obtained:

The Federal troops concentrated at Chambersburg number thirteen thousand. The advance guard, of three thousand, left there at l p.m. for Hagerstown, where they will encamp to-night, from which force vedettes are to be thrown into Williamsport. Two companies are said to have been sent towards the river above (point not known), supposed to be at a ford. From the accompanying map you will see our position. The ford northwest of camp is susceptible of good defense. The one opposite Williamsport can be protected without difficulty by the enemy, if they have artillery.

The communication in pencil is from a perfectly reliable source. I would wish positive instructions, and, if to make a stand, re-enforcements. My line of defense is too extended for my present force. Owing to disaffection in Captain White’s cavalry, they are not as efficient as they should be, and incompetent to guard the river.

Your most obedient servant,

J. W. ALLEN,
Colonel, First Infantry.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Martinsburg, Va., — –, 1861.

According to the best information to be obtained here, Colonel Porterfield left Grafton last Monday, with his command, of about one thousand five hundred men. He went to Philippi, in Barbour County, where he probably awaits re-enforcements, expected from the valley. The U. S. troops from Wheeling, to the number of about two thousand, arrived at Mannington (forty miles west of Grafton) last Monday, and stopped to repair two small railroad bridges which had been destroyed near there. The repair of the bridges could not detain them over three or four days. Nothing definite is known here about the U. S. force advancing from Parkersburg to Grafton, but some of the railroad bridges on that line are believed to have been destroyed. There was no military force of either side at Grafton on Wednesday at 4 p. m.; but some of the Union men of the neighborhood were gathering there, with such arms as they could get at home.

The above information, meager as it is, is all that we have, and is reliable as far as it goes. The bridges between this and Cumberland should by all means be burned (especially the bridge over the Potomac proper). Small bridges are but a small hinderance, in point of time, to an army, and recollect the railroad is to be the means of precipitating the immense body of men from Ohio and west of Ohio, who are to occupy our Virginia. Only important bridges will present obstacles, as to time, of any material value. West of Cumberland there are also important bridges, but I fear they are in the hands of Union men, and a little force would be required.

[No signature.]





Leesburg Sojourn

28 03 2020

This past March 10, in a time I now refer to as “Fo da quo,” (before the quarantine), I delivered a program on McDowell’s Plan for First Bull Run to the good folks at the Loudoun County Civil War Round Table in the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg, VA. But before the meeting (7:30 that evening), round table member and friend Craig Swain of To the Sound of the Guns showed me a few of the local Leesburg sites. Click on the thumbnails for great-big-giant images.

First, a few Leesburg dwellings related to Robert E. Lee and the Confederate invasion of Maryland in the summer of 1862.

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John Janey house. One time VA Governor, nearly Vice President (and President), secession convention supervisor. R. E. Lee visited here after Chantilly/Ox Hill prior to Antietam.

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Glenfiddich. R. E. Lee stayed here and met with Jackson & Longstreet inside to plan Maryland Campaign. Currently for sale.

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Home of the physician who tended to R. E. Lee’s injured hands. Across the street from Glenfiddich. Also for sale.

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Detail of physician’s house for sale sign. I guess this means it’s haunted!

Next stop was White’s Ford across the Potomac, used by the Army of Northern Virginia prior to Antietam and after Early’s raid on Washington.

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Wayside at White’s Ford (text by Craig Swain)

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Wayside at White’s Ford (text by Craig Swain)

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Wayside at White’s Ford (text by Craig Swain)

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Wayside at White’s Ford (text by Craig Swain)

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Potomac River near White’s Ford. View to Maryland and C&O Canal.

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Original road trace to White’s Ford.

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White’s Ford view to Maryland. Much of the Army of Northern Virginia crossed here to advance into Maryland in 1862.

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White’s Ford view to Maryland. Much of the Army of Northern Virginia crossed here to advance into Maryland in 1862.

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White’s Ford view to Maryland. Much of the Army of Northern Virginia crossed here to advance into Maryland in 1862.

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Craig Swain and me at White’s Ford.

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White’s Ford view to Maryland. Much of the Army of Northern Virginia crossed here to advance into Maryland in 1862.

Our last stop was Union Cemetery in town.

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Grave of and memorial to Elijah White, owner of White’s Ford and White’s Ferry, commander of “White’s Comanches,” Union Cemetery, Leesburg.

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Memorial to Elijah White, owner of White’s Ford and White’s Ferry, commander of “White’s Comanches,” Union Cemetery, Leesburg.

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Memorial to Elijah White, owner of White’s Ford and White’s Ferry, commander of “White’s Comanches,” Union Cemetery, Leesburg. “A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ.”

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Grave of Elijah White, owner of White’s Ford and White’s Ferry, commander of “White’s Comanches.” Union Cemetery, Leesburg.

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Grave of Elijah White, owner of White’s Ford and White’s Ferry, commander of “White’s Comanches.” Union Cemetery, Leesburg.

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Cenotaph to engineer Morris Wampler, who designed Fort (Battery) Wagner, Charleston, SC, and was mortally wounded there. Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA.

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Memorial to unknown Confederate dead, Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA.

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Memorial to unknown Confederate dead, Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA.

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Memorial to unknown Confederate dead, Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA.

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Memorial to unknown Confederate dead, Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA.

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Memorial to unknown Confederate dead, Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA.

A good day. A summary of the meeting that night to follow.