Col. Robert S. Garnett to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Ammunition to be Supplied His Command

13 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. 891

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 29,1861.

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

General : In the absence of General Lee, who is on a hasty visit to Manassas Junction, I have requested Colonel Dimmock to send to your command, with all practicable dispatch, one hundred thousand cartridges, five-eighths of them for smooth-bore muskets, and the remaining three-eighths equally divided between the minie musket and Harper’s Ferry rifle. In the absence of a requisition, specifying the caliber, I have adopted these proportions upon consultation with Lieutenant-Colonel Deas. Your letters will be submitted to General Lee as soon as he arrives, which will not, perhaps, be until to-morrow. President Davis arrived this morning, and I shall submit your papers to him.

I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,

R. S. GARNETT, Adjutant- General.





Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Col. Robert S. Garnett on Disposition of Forces at Harper’s Ferry

13 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. 889-890

Headquarters,
Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 28, 1861.

[Col. Garnett:]

Colonel : I reported to you on the 26th instant, for the information of the Commander-in-Chief, that the troops under my command are observing the river from Williamsport to the Point of Rocks. I will now give what was then omitted—the precise disposition of these troops:

Colonel Allen is opposite to Williamsport, thirty miles above, with his own regiment, two companies of Colonel Hill’s, and a section of artillery. The position cannot be defended by such a force, the ferry at Williamsport being at the vertex of a horseshoe, five or six miles in length, having another at each heel. A company of cavalry and a section of artillery guard the bridge at Shepherdstown. There are two companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and six field pieces, with their men, at the bridge at the Point of Rocks, twelve miles below, and a company of cavalry at the Berlin Bridge, halfway to the Point of Rocks. Preparations have been made to break each of these two bridges and the railroad bridge here. It is more than forty miles from Williamsport to the Point of Rocks. A detachment of three hundred and fifty infantry occupies a point on the Maryland Heights, one and a half miles from the near end of the crest of the ridge, and two and a half miles from Harper’s Ferry. The crest of the ridge beyond the Shenandoah is guarded by two companies of infantry.

In the present state of the river no force that could be detached from this place could prevent its passage by an enemy. In a few weeks, or even days, when fords will be numerous, an army will be necessary to guard the Potomac above, as far as the western line of Berkeley. With this point occupied, as it is, some five or six thousand men, judiciously placed between Martinsburg and the line, and a reserve of about the same force within striking distance of each, invasion would be difficult. As matters now are, the enemy can easily seize Martinsburg, in the heart of a disloyal population, and nearer than Harper’s Ferry to Winchester.

If the Commander-in-Chief has precise instructions to give, I beg to receive them early. I have prepared means of transportation for a march. Should it be decided that the troops should constitute a garrison, this expense can be reduced.

Your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON

P. S.—I submit a memorandum by Major Whiting, C. S. Engineers.

[Inclosure.]

Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 28, 1861.

Consultation on the condition of Harpers Ferry and its defenses reduced to writing.

The plan of the enemy, indicated by his movements, seems to be a cautious approach to, and entrance of, disaffected districts, securing his advance, if possible, by securing the sentiments of the people. In the district to the northwest of Harper’s Ferry these tactics will be the best he can follow, on account of known Union proclivities and the vicinity of the frontier.

Large bodies of troops are gathering at Carlisle and Chambersburg, the number already reported (probably exaggerated) being fifteen thousand. When ready to move they will occupy Martinsburg, crossing at Williamsport and Shepherdstown. Martinsburg is well known to be disaffected. His line, established from Martinsburg towards Shepherdstown, has an excellent base, and communications very difficult to interrupt by the Hagerstown and Cumberland roads, and very seriously threatens, not only Harper’s Ferry, with its present forces and conditions, but our whole line of operations. Martinsburg is nearer to Winchester than the Ferry, and access easy. Our holding Winchester is necessary to maintain the Ferry. To hold this post, then, either as a fortress, a point d’appui, or as a condition of the defense of the Virginia Valley, we require a force of from twelve to fifteen thousand men, of which two regiments should be cavalry. The force now at the Ferry (about five thousand effectives) might remain as at present, while the main body should be posted centrally, as at Burns’ Ford, on the Opequan, where a strong position might be selected, and, if necessary, defended by lines. The strengthening and re-enforcement of this force, as now constituted, seems to have ceased when most necessary. It is essential that supplies of ammunition (especially of equipments of shoes) should be forwarded in quantity, otherwise, without the arrangement designated, we are so deficient in ammunition that this force must, on the advance of the enemy, move out from the Ferry and maneuver, to prevent being shut up in a cul-de-sac.

The plan sketched above will absolutely force the enemy to very great delay and vastly extended preparations. It continually (by way of Leesburg and the eastern slope of the ridge) threatens the District of Columbia. If, however, he is beforehand with us (besides the present disastrous results), he gains what may take time, means, and men, on a similar scale, to recover.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,
Major of Engineers.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Equipments for Harper’s Ferry

13 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. 883-884

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 27, 1861.

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

General: In a letter from Colonel Jackson, of the 21st instant, lately received, he speaks of the want of an ordnance or artillery officer at your post. There is none at present available, but Major Elzey, of the Confederate Army, has been ordered here, and I will endeavor to place him on duty with you. Meantime I have thought that the services of Colonel Jackson might be applied to the mounting and preparing the batteries for service. The proper defense of the country west of you and the command of the railroad through that region is deemed very important to the safety of your position, and it is hoped you will be able to take measures to maintain it, or prevent the use of the road to invaders of the State. It is thought probable that you might add to the comfort of your command by procuring, or causing to be procured, at Winchester camp equipage for those companies said to he in want, and that arrangements might he made there for making cartridge-boxes, haversacks, &c.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.





Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Col. Robert S. Garnett On Supplies and Situation at Harper’s Ferry

12 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. 880-881

Headquarters,
Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 26, 1861.

Col. R. S. Garnett,
Adjutant-General Virginia Forces, Richmond, Va.:

Colonel: I respectfully transmit herewith a statement of the amount of ammunition on hand.

The quantity in possession of the troops does not exceed twelve or fifteen rounds, the force in this vicinity being about five thousand two hundred men. The statement includes what is still in the Ordnance Department, and is exclusive of the twelve or fifteen rounds issued. I respectfully suggest the importance of instant measures to send an additional supply as soon as possible. There is scarcely half enough here for an action.

We are observing the river from Williamsport to the Point of Rocks, at least thirty miles. Our force is too small, however, to prevent invasion by an enemy strong enough to be willing to attempt it. To hold this point and observe the river above the Point of Rocks would require fifteen or twenty thousand men. This position can be turned easily and effectively from above and below. After turning it, an enemy attacking in the rear would have decided advantage of ground against so small a force as our present one. Should the enemy cross the river the troops in this vicinity would be best employed in trying to retard his advance into the country. Their utter want of discipline and instruction will render it difficult to use them in the field. I beg to receive the views and instructions of the Commander-in-Chief in relation to the manner in which the troops under my command can best be used. I am procuring wagons to march, if necessary.

Captain Ashby, commanding near the Point of Rocks, was instructed by my predecessor to break the railroad whenever he found such a measure necessary for his defense. Those instructions were repeated by me. Captain Ashby reported this morning that in consequence of intelligence just received he was about to throw a mass of rock upon it, by blasting.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

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


Memorandum in relation to Harper’s Ferry.

[May 26, 1861.]

There is no danger of attack in front, but the position is easily turned by crossing the river above or below. The present force is not sufficient for defense against a superior one, attacking from the Virginia side. Relief, in case of investment, could not be furnished. Considered as a position, I regard Harper’s Perry as untenable by us at present against a strong enemy. We have outposts at the Point of Rocks, near the ferry at Williamsport, and the bridge at Shepherdstown, the extreme points being at least thirty miles apart. Our effective force, including those detachments and two others on the opposite heights, is about five thousand men, with one hundred and forty thousand cartridges and seventy-five thousand percussion caps. The only way in which this force can be made useful, I think, is by rendering it movable, and employing it to prevent or retard the enemy’s passage of the Potomac, and, should he effect the crossing, in opposing his advance into the country. This I shall endeavor to do, unless instructed to the contrary. Orders to provide wagons have been given. Cartridges have been made at the rate of four thousand per diem. I have directed increase of the force employed. Bullet-molds and cartridge-paper are wanting, and may not be procured.

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





Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper, CSA Army Adj. Gen. & Insp. Gen., to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Assigning Him to Command at Harper’s Ferry

1 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. 844-845

Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office,
Montgomery, May 15,1861.

Brig. Gen. Jos. E. Johnston, C. S. A., Montgomery, Ala.:

Sir: Having been appointed a brigadier-general in the Army of the Confederate States, you have been assigned by the War Department to the command of the troops near Harper’s Ferry. In proceeding to that point the Secretary of War directs that you take Lynchburg in your route, and make arrangements there for sending forward to Harper’s Ferry such force as you may deem necessary to strengthen your command.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee and Col. Thomas J. Jackson Discuss Policy Regarding Maryland

28 11 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. 832-833, 836

Division Hdqrs., Harpers Ferry, Va., May 11, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. Lee :

General: The precautions mentioned in your letter of the 6th instant have been under consideration for some time, and some of them have been taken; others are progressing as rapidly as the circumstances admit of. Arrangements are complete for a desperate defense at Point of Rocks. I have troops also at Berlin, Shepherdstown, and Martinsburg. Marylanders, with artillery, are opposite Shepherdstown, and have threatened us there to such an extent as to induce the officer stationed there to call on me for artillery; and though I can poorly spare it, yet, under the circumstances, I must comply. Previous to receiving your letter I had authorized the payment of $5 for the best arms, and graded pieces below that. My report for yesterday* will show the strength of the command. I can get enough volunteers from the counties named to swell the force to probably four thousand five hundred; but they are without arms, accouterments, and ammunition. Please send me five thousand good muskets and rifles, with complete equipments. Also full equipments for three hundred cavalry, and an additional light battery more than those called for in my last. Make this the depot for the northwest. Grafton should be occupied at once. Col. J. M. Bennett will deliver this to you, and give important information respecting the northwest. The quartermaster, Mr. John A. Harman, of this post, should not be removed, if it can possibly be avoided. Please have him appointed and retained, if practicable. I had difficulty in inducing him to remain; but, if the appointment be sent to him, I think he will continue here.

Please to forward the arms at once, and all troops and supplies destined for Harper’s Perry. I respectfully request they may be sent at once. Have no fear of this place being surprised.

Your most obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON,
Colonel, Virginia Volunteers, Commanding.

*Not found.


Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 12,1861.

Col. T. J. Jackson,
Commanding, &c., Harper’s Ferry, Va.:

Colonel : I have just received your letter of the 11th instant, by Colonel Bennett. I am concerned at the feeling evinced in Maryland, and fear it may extend to other points, besides opposite Shepherdstown. It will be necessary, in order to allay it, that you confine yourself to a strictly defensive course. I presume the points occupied by you at Point of Bocks, Berlin, and Shepherdstown are on our side. I am glad to hear that volunteers are assembling. Over two thousand arms have already been sent to you, and one thousand more have been ordered this evening. If you only expect to receive sufficient volunteers to swell your force to four thousand five hundred men, I do not see how you can require five thousand arms, as you must now have nearly three thousand armed, besides the three thousand arms, above mentioned, ordered to you. We have no rifles or cavalry equipments. The latter may use double-barreled shot-guns and buck-shot, if no better arms can be procured. I will see to the quartermaster. I fear no field battery can be sent you besides that now preparing. The Fourth Begiment Alabama troops, from Lynchburg, have gone to you, and I have ordered two others from the same point. Ammunition has also been ordered to you. You know our limited resources, and must abstain from all provocation for attack as long as possible.

I am, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major-General, Commanding.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee and Col Thomas J. Jackson on the Occupation of Maryland Heights

26 11 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. 823-825

Division Headquarters,
Harpers Ferry, May 9, 1861.

Major-General Lee,
Commander Virginia Forces:

General: If this place is attacked, we may expect the enemy to make a free use of rifled cannon, in addition to field artillery, and possibly larger caliber.

The object of this letter is to state that Colonel Thomas, adjutant-general of Maryland, has placed at my disposal the ordnance from the Virginia navy-yard en route for Baltimore via this place, and to request that you will, should it meet with your approbation, send a competent ordnance officer, with sufficient force and means, to mount such pieces as I may designate.

I am, general, your most obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON,
Colonel Virginia Volunteers, Commanding Division.

P. S.—There are about 2,200 Federal troops at the Relay House, others beyond Baltimore, and about 4,000 near Chambersburg, Pa. I have occupied the Maryland Heights with the Kentuckians and one company of infantry from Augusta County, making about 500 in all.


Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 10, 1861.

Col. T. J. Jackson,
Virginia Volunteers, Commanding Harper’s Ferry, Va.:

Colonel: Your letter of the 7th instant, by Major Massie, has been received. Orders have been given to fill your requisition for arms, ammunition, and accouterments as far as possible. In addition to the guns that you were advised yesterday would be sent to you, I have directed two 32-pounders, with navy carriages, and a supply of ammunition, &c., to be forwarded to you. They will be in charge of Lieutenant Fauntleroy, of the Navy, who is ordered to report to you, and I hope will be useful in defending your post.

Your intention to fortify the heights of Maryland may interrupt our friendly arrangements with that State, and we have no right to intrude on her soil, unless, under pressing necessity, for defense. I had hoped that her own citizens would have relieved us of that question, and you must endeavor to give to the course you may find it necessary to pursue the appearance of its being the act of her citizens. At all events, do not move until actually necessary and under stern necessity.

I have directed the companies ordered to rendezvous at Staunton to be sent to you as soon as mustered into the service, and I hope you will receive a large accession of troops under the authority extended to you. Several officers of experience have been sent to you, and I shall endeavor to send some cadets. I know, from the spirit with which you are animated, that you will leave nothing undone to insure the defense of your post and the security of your command. You will not neglect, therefore, the instruction of the troops, who ought to be constantly practicing their military exercises and prepared in every way for hard service. Every rifle that you can finish will be of advantage, but it will be necessary to send off that machinery as soon as the musket factory is removed. I have directed the Quartermaster and Commissary Departments to send funds, if practicable, to the assistant quartermaster and commissary at your post.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major-General, Commanding.


Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va.y May 10,1861.

Col. T. J. Jackson, Commanding, &c., Harper’s Ferry, Va.;

Colonel: Your letter of May 9th has just been received. The guns you refer to, intended for Maryland, have, I understand, been stopped by the governor. I wrote you to-day that two 32-pounders had been ordered to you. I fear you may have been premature in occupying the heights of Maryland with so strong a force near you. The true policy is to act on the defensive, and not invite an attack. If not too late, you might withdraw until the proper time. I have already suggested to you the probability of the use of the canal as a means of carrying ordnance and munitions from Washington to use against you. In that event it would be well to cut the supply dams to prevent its use. Ten cadets have been ordered to report to you, in addition to the ten now there.

Very respectfullv, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major- General, Commanding.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Thomas J. Jackson Directing Him to Not Move Into Maryland, and on Aid to Harper’s Ferry

25 11 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. 822

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 9, 1861.

Col. T. J. Jackson, Commanding, &c., Harper’s Ferry, Va.;

Colonel: I have received your letter of the 6th instant, and am gratified at the progress you have made in the organization of your command. I hope some of the field officers directed to report to you will have arrived and entered on their duties. In your preparation for the defense of your position it is considered advisable not to intrude upon the soil of Maryland, unless compelled by the necessities of war. The aid of its citizens might be obtained in that quarter. I regret I have no engineer of experience to send you. You will have to rely upon your judgment and the aid of the oflicers with you. I have directed that four 6-pounder guns be forwarded to you as soon as possible, and two 12-pounder howitzers, with a supply of ammunition and equipment for firing, will be sent to you at once. There are no caissons. Horses, wagons, and harness will be procured near you by an agent of the quartermaster’s department, sent for the purpose.

Captain Pendleton’s company of artillery from Lexington will join you as soon as possible, with such field pieces as it has. Flour and provisions for use of the troops must be secured. In other respects it is not designed to embarrass the legitimate commerce of our citizens.

I have directed that one thousand muskets, obtained from North Carolina, be sent to you, to aid in arming your command and to respond to requisitions that may be made upon you by Colonel Porterfield. Your requisitions upon the staff department at headquarters, as far as possible, will be filled.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major- General, Commanding.





Col. Thomas J. Jackson to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee on Actions Since Taking Command at Harper’s Ferry

23 11 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. 809-810

Division Headquarters,
Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 6, 1861.

General Lee, Commander-in-Chief:

General: I assumed command of this post on Monday last, soon after my arrival here. Since that time I have been busily occupied organizing the command and mustering the troops into service. I send herewith a report of the strength for May 4.* To-morrow I will give you a more detailed account of the forces, equipments, &c. All the troops have been mustered into service, except some companies on detached service. I have occupied the Virginia and Maryland Heights, and I am about fortifying the former with block-houses of sufficient strength to resist an attempt to carry them by storm. Whenever the emergency calls lor it, I shall construct similar works on the Maryland Heights. Thus far I have been deterred from doing so by a desire to avoid giving offense to the latter State. If you have an experienced engineer officer, I hope that you will order him here, if you have no duty for him elsewhere. There are four 6-pounder guns here without caissons. I respectfully request that you will send the caissons, and also two 6-pounder batteries and two extra 12-pounder howitzers, all fully supplied with ammunition, horses, equipments, and everything necessary for being turned over to companies now waiting for them. Reliable information has been received that the Federal troops are at the Relay House. As four thousand flints have been found here, I have taken the responsibility of ordering the one thousand flint-lock rifles from the Lexington Arsenal, and also ten barrels of musket and ten barrels of rifle powder, as in my opinion the emergency justified the order. Should the Federal troops advance in this direction, I shall no longer stand on ceremony. In addition to the cavalry stationed at Point of Rocks, I this morning ordered two 6-pounders to the same position. The enemy, from good authority, are about four thousand strong in the neighborhood of Chambersburg. About two-thirds of the machinery from the musket factory has been removed from here. This morning Mr. John Ambler, the quartermaster in Winchester, informed me that the merchants were paying double freights, and were thus securing all the transportation. To prevent the consequent delay of the machinery, I directed him to impress the wagons. He also notified me that the baggage cars from Strasburg were employed in carrying flour from the valley to New York, and that every barrel would be required for our use. To remedy this evil, until the subject could be referred to you, and also to secure the transportation for the machinery, I directed him to impress the cars. About four hundred and eighty Kentucky volunteers are here without arms, and stand greatly in need of them. I directed some old arms to be issued to them, but they refused to receive them. I refer the subject to you, with the hope that something may be done towards arming them. The material is good. My object is to put Harper’s Ferry in the most defensible state possible, and hence feel it my duty to give the best arms to the Virginia troops, as the others may at any time be ordered off. The news from the northwest shows great disaffection, especially in Ohio County.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON,
Virginia Volunteers, Commanding.

*Not found.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Thomas J. Jackson to Prepare for Federal Assault on Harper’s Ferry

23 11 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. 806-807

Headquarters Virginia Forces, Richmond, Va., May 6,1861.

Col. T. J. Jackson,
Commanding Volunteers, Harper’s Ferry, Va.:

Colonel: I consider it probable that the Government at Washington will make a movement against Harper’s Ferry, and occupy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with that view, or use the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal for the transportation of troops. You are desired to watch these avenues of approach, and endeavor to frustrate their designs. On receiving certain intelligence of the approach of troops it will become necessary to destroy the bridge at Harper’s Ferry and obstruct their passage by the canal as much as possible. You might make some confidential arrangements with persons in Maryland to destroy the Monocacy railroad bridge and draw the water out of the canal, should there be assurances of the enemy’s attempt to make use of either.

You are authorized to offer the payment of $5 for each musket that may be returned of those taken possession of by the people in and about Harper’s Ferry.

It is advisable that you establish some troops at Martinsburg, or other more advantageous point, if your force will permit. I desire that you will report the amount of your present force and the number of volunteers that will probably respond to the call of the governor from the counties indicated in his proclamation.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
Major- General, Commanding.