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.





Gov. John Letcher to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee on Placing Col. Thomas J. Jackson in Command at Harper’s Ferry

19 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. 784

Executive Department, April 27, 1861.

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

Sir : You will direct Col. T. J. Jackson to proceed to Harper’s Ferry, to organize into regiments the volunteer forces which have been called into the service of the State, and which may be assembled in the neighborhood. Direct him to report with as much dispatch as possible the number and description of the companies thus organized; the character and condition of their arms, and the names of the company officers present for duty, and where from; also, the names of all general, field, and staff officers now in the field in that command, that the Executive may have the information required for the proper organization of the regiments and brigades according to the ordinance of the Convention of April 21,1861. You will place Colonel Jackson, for the present, in command of the troops in that locality, and give him such general instructions as may be required for the military defenses of the State. Direct him to make diligent inquiry as to the state of feeling in the northwestern portion of the State. If necessary, appoint a confidential agent for that purpose, but great confidence is placed in the personal knowledge of Major Jackson in this regard. If deemed expedient, he can assemble the volunteer forces of the northwest at such points as he may deem best, giving prompt information of the same. Promptness in all these matters is indispensable.

I am, very respectfully,

JOHN LETCHER.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee, to Governor and Council of Virginia, on State Forces Taking the Field

18 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 784

Headquarters, Richmond, Va., April 27, 1861.

I respectfully ask of the governor and council what arrangements have been made to enable the army of the State to take the field? Besides the necessary camp equipage, some means of transportation must be provided other than that furnished by the railroad companies. It will not always be possible to adhere to the railroad routes, and provision must be made for maneuvering in front of an enemy and for supplying troops with provisions, and at positions to be held or forced. Horses for the light batteries will be necessary, and wagons for local transportation. Are there any funds for these purposes, or how are they to be procured?*

Very respectfully,

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

*Answer not found





General Orders #1 – Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee Assumes Command of Virginia Military Forces

16 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. 775-776

General Orders,
No. 1

Headquarters,
Richmond, Va., April 23,1861.

In obedience to orders from his excellency John Letcher, governor of the State, Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee assumes command of the military and naval forces of Virginia.

R. E. LEE,
Major-General.