Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper on “Mustering” of Virginia State Troops into Confederate Service

29 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. 959-960

Headquarters,
Winchester, June 29,1861.

General S. Cooper:

General: Immediately after reading in a newspaper the proclamation of the governor of Virginia in relation to the transfer of troops, &c., from the State to the Confederate authorities, I inquired of General Lee if this transfer involved the necessity of “mustering” the Virginia troops into the service of the Confederate States, but received no answer. Lieutenant Washington was desired to obtain an answer to this question when in Richmond recently, and brought an affirmative verbal one.

An order in relation to the muster of the Virginia troops at the end of June, which followed him from General Lee’s headquarters, contained nothing on the subject, so that I am still uncertain.

If this form is necessary, be so good as to give me instructions. I have had no official information of the transfer of the Virginia troops to the Confederate Government.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

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





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Gov. John Letcher, on Military and Naval Preparation for the Defense of Virginia

23 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. 927-929

Headquarters,
Richmond, Va., June 15,1861.

His Excellency John Letcher, Governor of Virginia:

Sir: Agreeably to your request, I submit a statement of the military and naval preparation for the defense of Virginia, from the period of her separation from the U. S. Government to the date of transfer of the military operations of the State to the Confederate Government. Arrangements were first made for the establishment of batteries to prevent the ascent of our enemy by hostile vessels. As soon as an examination was made for the selection of sites, their construction was begun and their armament and defense committed to the Virginia Navy. Preparations were also begun for receiving into the service of the State volunteer companies, and for organizing, arming, and equipping them. Mustering officers were appointed, rendezvous established, and provision made for their subsistence and shelter. The primary estimate of the number of troops, of all arms, required, based upon the points to be defended, amounted to fifty-one thousand men. The estimated quota of each portion of the State has been furnished, except from the western section. Arrangements were made for calling out the volunteers from the western section at the same time and in the same manner as from the eastern section, but as yet it has been feebly responded to.

Complete returns from the troops in the field have not, and, from the nature of things, cannot for some time be received; but, from the best source of information within our reach, the number of Virginia troops is about 35,000. This amount probably falls below the real number, for, referring to the report of the Colonel of Ordnance, it will be seen that he has issued 2,054 rifles and carbines and 41,004 muskets, in addition to pistols and sabers to the cavalry. Thirteen thousand arms have also been issued from Lexington, making a total of 56,658. Seven thousand of those from Lexington and several thousand from the arsenal at Richmond have been issued to troops from other States; but as many of the Virginia companies, supposed to be about 5,000 men, were armed and equipped when received into the service of the State, should the number of unarmed companies from other States not differ materially from the number of armed companies of the State, the number of Virginia troops in the field may be assumed to be about 40,000. When it is remembered that this body of men were called from a state of profound peace to one of unexpected war, you will have reason to commend the alacrity with which they left their homes and families and prepared themselves for the defense of the State. The assembling of men, however, was not the most difficult operation. Provision for their instruction, subsistence, equipment, clothing, shelter, and transportation in the field required more time and labor. Ammunition of every kind had to be manufactured. The carriages of the guns for river, land, and field service had to be made, with the necessary implements, caissons, battery wagons, &c. One hundred and fifteen guns for field service have thus been provided, from which twenty light batteries, of four guns each, have been furnished, with the requisite horses, harness, &c.

For the defense of James River, two batteries and two steamers have been provided, mounting, altogether, forty guns, ranging in caliber from 32-pounders to 8 and 9 inch columbiads. Arrangements are also in process for mounting sixty guns, of different weights, on the defenses around Richmond, and a naval battery of 6 to 12 pounder howitzers is in process of organization.

On York River three batteries have been constructed, mounting thirty guns, of caliber similar to the guns on James River.

Sites for batteries on the Potomac have also been selected, and arrangements were in progress for their construction; but the entire command of that river being in the possession of the United States Government, a larger force is required for their security than could be devoted to that purpose. The batteries at Aquia Greek have only been prepared. Twelve guns are in position there.

On the Rappahannock River a four-gun battery of 32 pounders and 8-inch columbiads has been erected.

Six batteries have been erected on the Elizabeth Eiver, to guard the approaches to Norfolk and the navy-yard. They mount eighty-five guns, 32-pounders and 8 and 9 inch columbiads.

To prevent the ascent of the Nansemond Eiver and the occupation of the railroad from Norfolk to Richmond, three batteries have been constructed on that river, which will mount nineteen guns.

The frigate United States has been prepared for a school-ship, provided with a deck battery of nineteen guns, 32-pounders and 9-inch columbiads, for harbor defense. The frigate Merrimac has been raised and is in the dry-dock, and arrangements are made for raising the Germantown and Plymouth.

In addition to the batteries described, other works have been constructed for their land defense, exceeding, in many instances, the works on the batteries themselves. An extensive line of field works has been erected for the security of Norfolk on the sides towards the bay. Redoubts for the same purpose have been constructed at Jamestown Island, Gloucester Point, Yorktown, and across the neck of land below Williamsburg. I have confined myself to a general narration of operations, and for the details refer you to the reports of several chiefs of staff.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.





General Orders #25 – Gov. John Letcher Transfers Command of Virginia Forces to Confederate Government

19 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. 911-912

General Orders,
No. 25

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., June 8, 1861.

By the Governor of Virginia.
A Proclamation.

The delegates of the people of Virginia, in Convention assembled, having by their ordinance passed April 25, 1861, adopted and ratified the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, ordained and established at Montgomery, Ala., on February 8, 1861, and the State of Virginia having been, by an act of the Confederate States, passed May 7, 1861, admitted as a State into the Confederate Government, and the President being, under the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the Confederate States and of the militia of the several States when called into the service of the Confederate States:

Now, therefore, I, John Letcher, governor of Virginia, by and with the advice and consent of the executive council, do hereby transfer to the authorities of the Confederate States, by regiments, all the volunteer forces which have been mustered into the service of Virginia, and do order a like transfer, by regiments, battalions, squadrons, and companies, of all volunteers or militia, as the same shall be formed, and their services may be required.

I further hereby transfer to the authorities of the Confederate States the command of all the officers, seamen, and marines of the Provisional Navy of Virginia, for service in the Confederate States.

I do further order that all officers of the Virginia service now on duty in any of the departments of the staff continue to discharge their respective functions, under the direction and control of the President, until otherwise ordered; and that all quartermasters, commissary, and medical stores belonging to the State and in charge of said officers, to be turned over for the use of the Confederate States, upon proper receipts for the articles turned over, to be forwarded to the accounting officer for settlement. All moneys in charge of any of the departments will be forthwith returned into the treasury of the State.

I do further order all the Provisional Army of Virginia to respect and obey all lawful orders emanating from the President, or those commanding under his authority, and that the same may be incorporated, in whole or in part, into the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, at the pleasure of the President.

I do hereby authorize the use of all public property, munitions of war, &c., captured from the United States, the machinery at Harper’s Ferry excepted, by the President or those acting under his authority, for the common defense.

Given under my hand as governor, and under the seal of the State, at Richmond, this 6th day of June, A. D. 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth.

By the governor:
[SEAL]

GEORGE W. MUNFORD,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.

In compliance with the foregoing proclamation, the command of the military and naval forces of the State of Virginia is transferred to the Confederate States. All officers of said forces will obey the orders they may receive from the heads of the War and Navy Departments, respectively. Officers of the staff will receive their instructions from the chiefs of the several branches of the Confederate States Government.

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.





Col. Thomas J. Jackson to Col. Robert S. Garnett on Command Dispute at Harper’s Ferry

7 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. 871-872

Headquarters, Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 24,1861.

Col. R. S. Garnett, Adjutant-General:

Colonel: I forward herewith copies of correspondence between General J. E. Johnston, of the C. S. Army, and myself. Major Whiting has taken charge of the defenses.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON,
Col. Virginia Vols., Comdg. at Harper’s Ferry, Va.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 24, 1861.

Colonel Jackson, Virginia Forces:

Colonel: Will you oblige me by having the inclosed order copied and distributed to the different regiments?

Very respectfully,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

[Inclosure -No. 2.]

Orders, No. —.] Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 24,1861.

In obedience to the orders of the Secretary of War, the undersigned assumes the command of the troops at and in the vicinity of this place.

Maj. E. E. McLean, C. S. Army, will take the direction of the operations of the Quartermaster’s Department; Maj. W. H. C. Whiting those of the Engineer Corps.

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

[Inclosure No. 3.]

Headquarters,
Harper’s Ferry, Va., May 24, 1861.

Brig. Gen. J. E. Johnston, C. S. A.:

General: I have the honor of acknowledging the receipt of your note of this morning, requesting the publication of an order, as coming from you, assuming the command of this post, in obedience to the orders of the Secretary of War, and directing Maj. E. E. McLean, C. S. Army, to take the direction of the operations of the Quartermaster’s Department, and Maj. W. H. C. Whiting those of the Engineer Corps. Until I receive further instructions from Governor Letcher or General Lee, I do not feel at liberty to transfer my command to another, and must therefore decline publishing the order. Meanwhile I beg you to be assured that it will give me pleasure to afford to yourself and to the other officers named every facility in my power for obtaining appropriate information relating to the post and departments of the service connected with it.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON,
Col. Virginia Vols., and Comdg. at Harper’s Ferry, Va.





Brig. Gen. Milledge Luke Bonham Reports His Command for Duty in Virginia

27 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. 831

Hdqrs. First Brigade, S. C. Vols., C. S. Army,
Richmond, Fa., May 11,1861.

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

Sir : In pursuance of Orders, No. 13, headquarters Virginia Forces, but recently called to my attention, I have the honor to report that, as brigadier-general, C. S. Army, Provisional Forces, I am in command of two regiments of South Carolina volunteers, numbering, in the aggregate, upwards of fifteen hundred. Camp at present near the reservoir. I was ordered by the governor of South Carolina to report to Governor Letcher, who directed me to report to Major-General Lee.

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

M. L. BONHAM,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.





Col. Thomas J. Jackson to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee on Strength and Deficiencies at Harper’s Ferry

24 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. 814-815

Division Headquarters,
Harper’s Ferry, Va. May 7,1861.

Major-General Lee, Commanding Virginia Forces:

General: I forward herewith a statement of the strength of my command at this post, of the deficiency of arms, ammunition, and accouterments.*

The deficiencies I respectfully request may be supplied at the earliest practicable period, as I wish to put the post in as defensible a condition as possible. I have finished reconnoitering the Maryland Heights, and have determined to fortify them at once, and hold them, as well as the Virginia Heights and the town, be the cost what it may. For this purpose I would urge the necessity of giving me an ample supply of good arms, and such disciplined troops as you can spare (though it should swell the number here to nine thousand five hundred or ten thousand men). Two pieces of field artillery (12-pounders) should be placed on the Virginia Heights, and a larger number of 6-pounders on the Maryland Heights. Heavier ordnance, in addition to the field pieces referred to in yesterday’s letter, could be advantageously employed in defending the town. The heights west of Bolivar must be strengthened. I would be more than gratified could you spare the time for a short visit here, to give me the benefit of your wisdom and experience in laying out the different works, especially those on the heights. I am of the opinion that this place should be defended with the spirit which actuated the defenders of Thermopylae, and, if left to myself, such is my determination. The fall of this place would, I fear, result in the loss of the northwestern part of the State, and who can estimate the moral power thus gained to the enemy and lost to ourselves ? The commissary department here is in a suffering condition, and will continue so, unless the estimates are complied with. All the cadets you can spare from Richmond are needed here.

The enemy are in possession of the Relay House, and permit no freight cars to come west. Personal baggage is searched. At Grafton the cars have been broken open by the Republicans, upon the suspicion that they contained arms. I dispatched a special messenger this evening to Baltimore, for the purpose of having the arms which Virginia furnished Maryland returned to us, and I trust that the scheme will be so carried out as to elude the vigilance of the enemy.

The pressure of office business here is so great as to induce me to retain Maj. T. L. Preston, of the Virginia Military Institute.

Mr. Burkhart, who is in charge of the rifle-factory, reports that he can finish fifteen hundred rifle-muskets in thirty days. I have, in obedience to the orders of Governor Letcher, directed the rifle-factory machinery to be removed immediately after that of the musket factory. My object is to keep the former factory working as long as practicable without interfering with its rapid removal.

An unarmed company, in Harrison County, has offered its services, and I design arming it at Grafton. With prudent management I hope to assemble a number of companies at that post from the northwest, and for this purpose I have been corresponding with reliable gentlemen in various parts of that section of the State. Major Boykin was here yesterday on his way to Grafton, where I hope he will not long remain without a command.

I would respectfully recommend that the money for which estimates have been made by the quartermaster and commissary be turned over to them at once, and, if practicable, that it be deposited in a Winchester or Charlestown bank. They have been forced to use their private credit, that of the State being insufficient.

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

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

*Not found.

John Thomas Lewis Preston was a founder of the Virginia Military Institute.

Philip Burkart was master armorer at the Harper’s Ferry rifle factory.

Francis Marshall Boykin was a member of VMI class of 1856, and served as Lt. Col. of the 31st Va. Infantry





Gov. John Letcher to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee on Taking Command of All Forces from Other States in Virginia

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, p. 813

Executive Department,
Richmond, Va., May 7,1861.

Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee, Commanding, &c.:

Sir: You will assume the command of all the volunteers, or other forces from other States, who have or may hereafter report for duty or tender their services to the State of Virginia, until orders are received from the President of the Confederate States in reference to the same.

JOHN LETCHER.





CSA Secretary of War LeRoy Pope Walker to Va. Gov. John Letcher on Control of Military Operations in the State

22 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. 805

Montgomery, May 6,1861.

Governor John Letcher, Richmond:

Do you desire this Government to assume any control over military operations in Virginia? If so, to what extent?*

L. P. WALKER.

*Answer not found.





Brig. Gen. Philip St. George Cocke to the Citizens of Northern Virginia

22 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. 804-805

Headquarters Potomac Department,
Culpeper Court-House, May 5, 1861.

Commissioned by the governor, with the sanction of the council, and confirmed by the Convention, in the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers, to date from the 21st April, 1861, and placed in command of all the military troops and defenses on the Potomac border of the State, I proceeded, in company with Brigadier-General Ruggles, my second in command, from Richmond, he to take up his headquarters at Fredericksburg, whilst I should take position in front of Washington, and, in connection with the commanding officer at Harper’s Ferry, on my left, thus cover and defend our Potomac border against invasion from the North.

After visiting Alexandria, and making the necessary observations and arrangements at that post, I proceeded to take up my headquarters at this place on Sunday morning, April 28.

The governor’s proclamation of the 3d instant, declaring that “the sovereignty of the Commonwealth of Virginia having been denied, her territorial rights assailed, her soil threatened with invasion by the authorities of Washington, and every artifice employed which could inflame the people of the Northern States to misrepresent our purposes and wishes, it becomes the solemn duty of every citizen of this State to prepare for the impending conflict, and authorizing the commanding general of the military forces of the State to call out and cause to be mustered into the service of Virginia, from time to time, as the public exigencies may require, such additional number of volunteers as he may deem necessary”; and the commanding general, following up the proclamation of the governor, having ordered me to call out and muster into the service of the State volunteer companies from the “counties of Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Greene, Orange, Albemarle, Kelson, Amherst, Campbell, Bedford, Roanoke, Botetourt, and Craig; the troops from the first five counties to rendezvous at Leesburg and Warrenton; those from the five next named at Culpeper Court-House; those from Albemarle, Amherst, and Kelson at Charlottesville; the remaining at Lynchburg,” the whole will be organized into regiments of rifles or infantry, cavalry and artillery, and be placed temporarily under such field and other officers as may be available, until their proper field officers can be appointed by the governor.

Officers will be sent to the respective rendezvous to muster these troops into service and rapidly to organize the whole force.

Therefore, I call upon the brave men within the geographical limits above indicated to respond instantly to this demand upon their patriotism in defense of all that is held sacred and dear to freemen. Men of the Potomac Military Department, to arms! The once peaceful capital of the United States is now the great rallying point of the armed military power of the North! The Constitution of your country, the sovereign rights of your State, truth, justice, and liberty, are all ignored and outraged amidst the brutal and frenzied cry of the North for force, force!

At this moment hosts of armed men profane by their insolent presence the city, the grave, and the memory of Washington, whilst an unbroken stream of thousands in arms violate the soil of Maryland and murder her citizens in their march to re-enforce and occupy the capital.

And for what? The capital has never been threatened; it is not now threatened. It is beyond and outside the limits of the free and sovereign State of Virginia.

The North has not openly, and according to the usage of civilized nations, declared war on us. We make no war on them; but should Virginia soil or the grave of Washington be polluted by the tread of a single man in arms from north of the Potomac, it will cause open war. Men of the Potomac border, men of the Potomac Military Department, to arms! Your country calls you to her defense. Already you have in spirit responded. You await but the order to march, to rendezvous, to organize, to defend your State, your liberties, and your homes.

Women of Virginia! Cast from your arms all cowards, and breathe the pure and holy, the high and glowing, inspirations of your nature into the hearts and souls of lover, husband, brother, father, friend!

Almighty God! Author and Governor of the world; Thou source of all light, life, truth, justice, and power, be Thou our God! Be Thou with us! Then shall we fear not a world against us!

PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Potomac Department.





Gov. John Letcher – A Proclamation to the Citizens of Virginia

21 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. 797-798

Richmond, May 3, 1861.

By the Governor of Virginia.

A PROCLAMATION.

The sovereignty of the Commonwealth of Virginia having been denied, her territorial rights assailed, her soil threatened with invasion by the authorities at Washington, and every artifice employed which could inflame the people of the Northern States and misrepresent our purposes and wishes, it becomes the solemn duty of every citizen of this State to prepare for the impending conflict. These misrepresentations have been carried to such extent that foreigners and naturalized citizens who but a few years ago were denounced by the North and deprived of essential rights have now been induced to enlist into regiments for the purpose of invading this State, which then vindicated those rights and effectually resisted encroachments which threatened their destruction. Against such a policy and against a force which the Government at Washington, relying upon its numerical strength, is now rapidly concentrating, it becomes the State of Virginia to prepare proper safeguards. To this end and for these purposes, and with a determination to repel invasion, I, John Letcher, governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by authority of the Convention, do hereby authorize the commanding general of the military forces of this State to call out and cause to be mustered into the service of Virginia, from time to time, as the public exigencies may require, such additional number of volunteers as he may deem necessary.

To facilitate this call the annexed schedule will indicate the places of rendezvous at which the companies called for will assemble upon receiving orders for service.

Given under my hand, as governor, and under the seal of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this third day of May, 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth.

JOHN LETCHER.

By the governor:
George W. Munford,
Secretary of the Commonwealth.