Brig. Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard to Sec. of War LeRoy Pope Walker, on Advance to Positions Forward of Bull Run

28 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. 947

Headquarters
Army of the Potomac, Manassas Junction, Va., June 23, 1861.

Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that, in consequence of the large re-enforcements I have lately received, I have divided my forces into six brigades, as per inclosed statement,* and commenced a forward movement to protect my advanced position at Centreville, Fairfax Court-House, and Sangster’s Cross-Roads, and also to be within striking distance of the enemy, whose advance positions seem to be at and to the rear of Falls Church (seven -miles from Alexandria), where they have five regiments (First and Second Connecticut, First and Second Ohio, and Sixty-ninth New York), one troop of cavalry, and one light battery. They have also four companies at Annandale.

My advanced forces (three brigades of three regiments each) occupy the triangle represented by Mitchell’s Ford (Bull Run), one regiment; Centreville and a point half way to Germantown, one brigade; Germantown and Fairfax Court-House, one brigade; at the crossing of Braddock’s old road with the Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station roads, one regiment; at the latter station, one regiment and one battalion, and at Sangster’s Cross-Roads, one battalion. All these positions are in easy and short communication with each other and with these headquarters. Most of my cavalry is with the advance, scouting, reconnoitering, &c. One light battery is at Fairfax Court-House with General Bonham’s brigade, and another is to be sent to Centreville to act with Colonel Cocke’s brigade. I unfortunately have none to spare for my other brigades. I have thrown eight miles in advance of the latter town or village one battalion of infantry and two companies of cavalry to observe the country towards the Potomac and the movements of the enemy in that direction. As already reported to the Department, one regiment (Sloan’s South Carolina) has been ordered to Leesburg, to assist Col. E. Hunton in the defense of that important position. I regret much my inability to send him some artillery.

I must call the attention of the Department to the great deficiency of my command in ammunition, not averaging more than twenty rounds in all per man. If I were provided with the necessary materials, molds, &c., I think I could establish here a cartridge manufactory which could supply all our wants in that respect. Could not a similar arrangement be made at all hospital depots, State arsenals, penitentiaries, &c.? To go into battle each soldier ought to be provided with at least forty rounds of cartridges, and not less than sixty rounds in reserve.

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

G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

*See General Orders, No. 20, p. 943





Special Orders #39 & #95 – Limits of Command of Brig. Gen. Milledge L. Bonham

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. 879-880

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 26, 1861.

Brig. Gen. M. L. Bonham,
Commanding, &c., Manassas Junction, Va.:

Sir: In reply to your inquiries of the 24th instant, I inclose a copy of Special Orders, No. 39, of the 10th instant, which, with Special Orders, No. 95, of the 21st instant, and the schedule to the governor’s proclamation of the 3d instant, contain all orders that have been issued in relation to the limits of your command. Special Orders, No. 95, gave you control of the troops at Culpeper Court-House, and, of course, of Colonel Ewell with them. On inquiry at the Exchange, I am informed that the u return ” of troops on the Alexandria line has been forwarded to you. The commanding general desires to be informed, as early as practicable, of the exact extent to which the Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad has been destroyed in the direction of Alexandria.

I am, &c.,

R. S. GARNETT, Adjutant- General.

[Inclosures.]

Special Orders,
No. 39.

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


II. Col. G. H. Terrett, of the Provisional Army of Virginia, will take charge of the troops from the counties of Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Fauquier, and the defense of those counties.

III. Col. P. St. George Cocke, Virginia Volunteers, will retain his headquarters at or near Culpeper Court-House, and organize into regiments as fast as possible the troops called out from the counties of Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Greene, Orange, Albemarle, Nelson, Amherst, Campbell, Bedford, Roanoke, Botetourt, and Craig, assigning to their command the field officers placed at his disposal. He will direct the commands of Cols. S. Garland and J. F. Preston to repair to Manassas Junction and report for duty to Colonel Terrett.


By order of Major-General Lee:

R. S. GARNETT.

Special Orders,
No. 95.

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 21, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. M. L. Bonham, of the C. S. Army, is assigned to the command of the troops on the line to Alexandria. He will post his brigade of South Carolina volunteers at the Manassas Junction, and establish his headquarters at that point or in advance, as he may find necessary. He will be guided by the instructions given to Col. George H. Terrett, commanding at Alexandria, and to Col. P. St. George Cocke, at Culpeper Court-House, whose commands are embraced within his district, and are put under his control.


By order of Major-General Lee:

R. S. GARNETT,
Adjutant-General.





Col. Robert S. Garnett to Col. Jubal A. Early on Arms and Organization

5 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. 858-859

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 20, 1861.

Col. J. A. Early, Lynchburg, Va.:

Sir: In reply to your letters of the 16th and 17 th instants*, the commanding-general now instructs me to say that he has this day ordered the Ordnance Department to forward to your address one thousand original percussion muskets, one thousand altered, and one thousand flint locks, and sixty thousand rounds of ammunition, to be issued by you to such companies of Virginia volunteers without arms as may be mustered in at Lynchburg, or arrive there already mustered in. The ten companies which you have reported may be organized into a regiment, to the command of which you may assign Colonel Radford, if they are the companies raised by him and reported to the governor. If they be not, you may assign Colonel Radford, or any other colonel, and field officers to them as may be deemed best, observing the rule as far as practicable to associate together companies and field officers from the same region of country. As soon as this regiment is organized and armed, order it to report to the commanding officer at Culpeper Court-House. In regard to staff officers of experience, the general regrets to inform you that there are none to be had at present, and hopes that you will be able to instruct those you already have until they shall become useful.

I am, &c.,

R. S. GARNETT,
Adjutant- General.

*Letter of 17th not found.





Col. Philip St. George Cocke to Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee, on Massing Troops at Manassas and Winchester

3 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. 846-847

Headquarters Potomac Department,
Culpeper Court-House, Vat., May 15,1861.

General R. E. Lee, Commander-in- Chief:

Sir: I. In my dispatch, which I had the honor to make on yesterday, I addressed myself to the consideration of the great importance of this my central line of operations through Culpeper, Manassas, Alexandria, &c. I endeavored to impress upon the mind of the General-in-Chief the exceedingly feeble means of defense as yet gathered upon this line, notwithstanding the exertions that have been and that are being made. I showed how easy it would be to take Alexandria in reverse, thus to paralyze and capture the little force there, to advance upon Manassas, where there are at present scarcely a thousand men, seize the whole section of railroad, and thus be able to pour their masses like an avalanche over this fine region, and by using the Manassas Gap Road to turn the positions of Harper’s Ferry and Winchester, take them in rear, and isolate them effectually. In order to prevent results so disastrous, the General-in-Chief will pardon me if I urge upon his consideration what I conceive to be the great importance of immediately massing troops, first at Manassas and next at Winchester, in support of Harper’s Ferry. If at this moment we had eight or ten thousand well-appointed men of all arms at those points, respectively, they would not be too many to enable us to play an equal game with the enemy, who at this moment doubtless has forty thousand men in and about Washington and from fifteen to twenty thousand at Harrisburg and Carlisle; all to be concentrated upon Harper’s Ferry or to be precipitated along this line whenever he shall decide to commence invasion. It is obvious, sir, with a strong corps d’armee at Manassas, and at least a division at Winchester, these two bodies being connected by a continuous railway through Manassas Gap, there should be kept all times upon that road ample means of transportation. These two columns—one at Manassas and one at Winchester—could readily co-operate and concentrate upon the one point or the other, either to make head against the enemy’s columns,, advancing down the valley, should he force Harper’s Ferry, or, in case we repulse him at Harper’s Ferry, the Winchester supporting column could throw itself on this side of the mountains, to co-operate with the column at Manassas and all that can come up in the rear of this line, to hurl back the invader, should he attempt to march beyond the Potomac upon Virginia’s soil.

II. I have every reason to believe that the officers recently appointed and assigned to the work of enlisting and mustering into the service volunteers in the geographical bounds of this central line of the Potomac Department, are exerting themselves with great zeal and energy, and that in the course of a few weeks they will raise and send forward a large portion, if not all, of the ten regiments of infantry, two of cavalry, and one of artillery I was authorized to raise within these limits. In the mean time it may be well for the General-in-Chief to consider what other means, more immediately available, he can throw upon this line, to provide against a possible early invasion of our Potomac border.

I remain, general, very respectfully, your most obedient,

PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE,
Colonel, Commanding Potomac Department.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee Col. to George H. Terrett on the Importance of Defending Manassas Junction

2 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. 845-846

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 15, 1861.

Col. George H. Terrett, Alexandria, Va.:

Colonel: I have requested Colonel Cocke to fill up Colonel Garland’s regiment, stationed at Manassas Junction, from companies called by him into the service of the State, and, as soon as he can organize other regiments, to send such re-enforcements to that point as he may deem necessary or you require. It will be necessary for you to give particular attention to the defense of that point, and to organize your force in front of it, to oppose, as far as your means will allow, any advance into the country from Washington. It is not expected possible, with the troops at present under your command, that you will be able to resist successfully any attempt to occupy Alexandria, but you may prevent the extension of marauders into the country and the advance of troops on the railroad. Should you discover an intention to seize the Manassas Junction, you will notify Colonel Cocke, who will advance to sustain you, and you will, with his and your whole force, oppose it. It will be necessary to watch the approaches on your right from the Potomac, as the distance from Occoquan, which point may be reached in boats, is not more than eighteen or twenty miles from Manassas Junction. You are again requested to urge forward the organization and equipment of your troops, and to see that your officers labor diligently at the instruction and discipline, and be prepared to take the field at any moment.

Respectfully, &c.,

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





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Philip St. George Cocke Urging Him to Sustain Col. George H. Terrett

2 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. 845

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 15,1861.

Col. P. St. George Cocke,
Commanding, &c., Culpeper Court-House, Va.;

Colonel : I have received your letter of the 14th instant, and am gratified at your arrangements for the defense of Manassas Junction, and the favorable account you give of the country towards the Potomac for defensive operations. I hope, by a judicious use of its natural obstacles, that the march of a hostile column will be much embarrassed. I have to request that you will endeavor to fill up Colonel Garland’s and Colonel Preston’s regiments from the companies that will report to you, as desired in my letter of the 10th instant, and as soon as you are able to form other regiments that you will send such re-enforcements to Manassas Junction as in your judgment may be necessary or as may be requested by Colonel Terrett. Please direct the troops you may send to the Junction to report to Colonel Garland, and place them under Colonel Terrett’s orders. I beg leave also to request that you will give to Colonel Terrett the benefit of your information and advice respecting the troops and country in which he is operating. It is desired to strengthen that whole line as rapidly as the organization of troops will admit, to resist any attack from the forces at Washington. Hitherto it was impossible to concentrate an adequate force for the defense of Alexandria, an abortive attempt at which would, in my opinion, have had no other effect than to hazard the destruction of the city. The posts at Norfolk and Harper’s Ferry, which seemed to be first threatened, being in some measure fortified, our resources can now be applied to your line of operations. Should an advance be made on Colonel Terrett, or an intention be manifested to seize the Manassas Junction, you are desired to sustain Colonel Terrett with your whole force.

Respectfully, &c.,

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





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. George H. Terrett on Responsibilities at Alexandria

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. 826-827

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

Col. Geo. H. Terrett, Provisional Army of Virginia, Alexandria, Va.:

Colonel : In forwarding Special Orders, No. 39[*], I take occasion to say that, while pursuing a strictly defensive policy, it is necessary that you should be vigilant, have your troops at or near points where they may be needed, and urge forward their instruction and preparation with all the means in your power. For this purpose it will be necessary to remove them from the towns, if possible, and establish them in camps, where their constant instruction and discipline can be attended to. They will the sooner become familiar with the necessities of service, and be better prepared for its hardships. It will be impossible to furnish tents at this time, but it is hoped that unoccupied buildings or temporary plank huts might be obtained where needed. At Manassas Junction, where it will be necessary to establish a portion of your command to secure the road to Harper’s Ferry, some preparation of this sort will be needed. Colonel Garland’s and Colonel Preston’s battalions (the first consisting of four and the second of seven companies) have been ordered to that point, to report to you. These battalions will be increased to regiments as companies from their districts arrive, which will be forwarded to you by Colonel Cocke. You will give them the necessary orders and add such re-enforcements as you think proper. The troops near Alexandria will be kept in readiness to move whenever necessary, will afford such protection to the town and neighborhood as their number will permit, and you will endeavor to take measures to allay unnecessary excitement, and not to provoke aggression.

An early report of the condition and resources of your command is desired. Requisitions upon the staff departments here will be filled as far as possible, and, for articles admitting of no delay you are authorized to call on Colonel Cocke.

Respectfully, &c.,

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

[*The portion of Special Orders #39 pertaining to Terrett is not included in the ORs]





Col. Philip St. George Cocke Updates Col. Robert S. Garnett on Troop Strengths and Dispositions

30 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. 841-843

Headquarters Potomac Department,
Culpeper Court-House, Va., May 14,1861.

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

Sir: I report, for the information of the General-in-Chief, that I returned to this place on Sunday morning, the 12th instant, from Manassas Junction, where I had gone to examine the position and the country around, and to make arrangements for gathering a force there for the defense of the place. My observations of the country were mainly directed towards the Potomac, on the right flank, and I find the head of tide, at Occoquan, approached within eighteen miles of Manassas. Mr. John Grant, my acting engineer and topographical draughtsman, was sent forward with a guide, to examine the roads towards Occoquan, while I myself rode over the most direct road, to a point where it crosses the Occoquan River, seven or eight miles to the right of Manassas Junction. Mr. Grant subsequently pursued this latter road to the village or landing of Occoquan, the head of tide, and I can report that the country upon these routes, covering the right flank of the position at Manassas Junction, is quite favorable for defensive operations, the same being broken or undulating, covered with dense forests of second-growth pines or of original oak, except here, and small fields or farms, the roads very narrow (mere ditches), and everywhere such as to render artillery and cavalry of our enemy on the march of little use to him, while the cover of forests, hills, and ravines make a fortress for brave men and riflemen in which to carry on the destructive guerrilla warfare upon any marching columns from that side. Nevertheless the proximity of the Potomac River, on that side, from Manassas Junction to Alexandria, will ever require extreme vigilance and precaution to cover the right of that line from flank attack at other points, where the ways may be more open and inviting.

The force that I have been enabled to assemble thus far at Manassas Junction consists of a detachment of artillery, under Capt. D. Kemper, with two 6-pounders; Capt. W. H. Payne’s company, numbering 76 men; Capt. J. S. Green’s company, numbering 57 men; Captain Hamilton’s company, numbering about 60, and two Irish companies, numbering, respectively, 54 and 58, and Colonel Garland’s force, arrived Sunday, consisting of 490 men. Altogether, about 830 men. Also Captain Marr’s company, 88 Warrenton Riflemen. Total, 918. The Powhatan Troop, under Captain Lay, has been ordered back here, and will arrive to-day.

Should Colonel Terrett make Manassas his headquarters, he will doubtless go on to strengthen it with forces to be gathered within the large and populous district assigned to his immediate command. I have advised Colonel Terrett, through a letter yesterday, addressed to him, not to leave Alexandria himself until he shall be well satisfied that his next in command there will be a man of cool, firm, and otherwise able character, to hold that important outpost so long as it be possible for brave men to hold it.

The General-in-Chief may be assured that I will make all practicable efforts to bring about the speedy assembling, mustering into service, organizing, drilling, and disciplining of the volunteers on my whole line, and to draw from this source as rapidly as possible, to strengthen the main positions on this line—a line which even now remains almost wholly open to the enemy, should he decide to march with any force upon it. Indeed, it would seem highly expedient, in view of the now openly acknowledged and accepted state of war on the part of the Confederate Congress, that this line, hitherto left wholly to its own feeble resources, and directly in front, as it is, of the enemy’s massed force at Washington, should immediately be put in an adequate attitude of defense by such exterior aid or re-enforcements of Southern troops as have been heretofore withheld from this line, while they have been concentrated at Richmond, Norfolk, and Harper’s Ferry, leaving absolutely at the mercy of the enemy the town of Alexandria, the gallant little band which now holds that post, and the whole system of railroads which, debouching from Alexandria, penetrates this noble country to its very heart, connected with the valley and strategically with Harper’s Ferry, and thus laying bare the very vitals of the State to a deadly attack or to a stunning blow. Verbum sap[*]. The hour for closing the mail is at hand, and the General-in-Chief will pardon the imposition of this. Germane subjects will be pursued in the next following dispatch.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE,
Colonel, Commanding Potomac Department.

[*Enough said]


Headquarters Potomac Department,
Culpeper Court-Rouse, Va., May 14, 1861.

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

Sir : I communicate herewith a paper for the information of the General-in-Chief, which may have a significance of some interest just at this juncture. I would also communicate to the general that I was yesterday informed by Major Brent, Virginia volunteers, and direct from Alexandria, that the enemy is prolonging himself along the canal, and has already reached Monocacy with his advanced post, which point is at the junction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with the canal, so that already Colonel Jackson’s vedettes may be in sight of the enemy. Some of my cavalry being without pistols, I would be glad if they could be provided with lances.

Very respectfully, your most obedient,

PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE,
Colonel, Commanding Potomac Department.

[Inclosure.]

Washington Home Guard of Cavalry,
May 13, 1861.

Lieutenant-Colonel Terrett,
Commanding Post at Alexandria, Va.:

My vedettes of Saturday and Sunday reported “that, while upon their station, near the Aqueduct, at Georgetown, at noon of each day, they were fired upon from Georgetown, the balls striking the trees near them, forcing them to change their position, when the firing was repeated upon their new position.” To-day, with five men, selected and well armed, I proceeded upon the tow-path, on the Aqueduct, to the middle, when I summoned the corporal of the U. S. guard, and demanded an explanation of the firing. He stated that it was not from his men. His orders were to stop supplies, suspicious persons, and to act upon the defensive. I then sent a messenger to the mayor of Georgetown, demanding an explanation of him. Received in reply, through superintendent of police, that the corporate authorities would punish the offenders if found out; that my complaint had been brought before the military commandant, and that all ball-cartridges would be taken from the troops quartered in Georgetown. The mayor offered me an escort and protection if I would visit Georgetown for more explicit explanation, but I considered that received as sufficient.

Submitted by

E. B. POWELL,
Captain.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Philip St. George Cocke Clarifying the Latter’s Rank and Command

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. 836-837

Headquarters Virginia Forces,
Richmond, Va., May 13,1861.

Col. P. St. George Cocke,
Comdg. Virginia Forces, Hdqrs. Culpeper Court-House, Va.:

Colonel: I have just received your letter of the 12th instant, and hasten to give such explanation as I can of the circumstances to which it refers. Your change of rank has resulted from the action of the Convention. Before the termination of its session an ordinance was passed requiring all appointments in the military service by the governor to be submitted to the Convention for confirmation. The Convention also determined, as I have understood, to reduce the number of the higher grades in the service, which resulted in the renomination by the governor, by and with the advice of the council, of several officers for appointments to grades one degree lower than those to which they had been originally appointed. General Gwynn’s, General Johnston’s, General Ruggles’, yours, and others were of this number. Another ordinance of the Convention gave to officers of the Provisional Army rank above those of the volunteer forces of the same grade, and subjected them to duty with the volunteers until required for service with the Provisional Army. Colonel Ruggles and Colonel Terrett having been appointed in the Provisional Army, it was incumbent on me to recognize their rank. It therefore became necessary to change your command, which I did with regret. Of the circumstances attending it I supposed you were cognizant, as the action of the Convention, I think, occurred before your last visit to this city.

When Colonel Jackson was sent to Harper’s Perry, it was to muster into service the companies there assembled, with a view of organizing a force as rapidly as possible to hold that point. Hence he was not directed to report in person to you on his route, as that would have occasioned delay, though it was well understood that Harper’s Ferry was embraced within your command. At the present time, as well as for the reasons given in Special Orders, No. 39, it was deemed advisable to give to the commander at Harper’s Ferry command of that station, without reference to any other question. I hope you will perceive, from the foregoing explanation, which has been necessarily brief, that the change in your command was dictated by necessity and not by choice. In assigning the officers within your former district to their present posts, I was guided entirely by the convenience of the service and a desire to hasten the organization of the troops. It is temporary, and designed to meet the exigencies of the occasion. As to yourself, I desired to have the benefit of your knowledge of the troops and officers called from the extensive country assigned to you, in their organization and equipment, and hoped the service would be as agreeable to you as I believe it will be beneficial to the public. Recognizing as fully as I do your merit, patriotism, and devotion to the State, I do not consider that either rank or position are necessary to bestow upon you honor, but believe that you will confer honor on the position. In the present crisis of affairs, I know that your own feelings, better than any words of mine, will point out the best course for you to pursue to advance the cause in which you are engaged, and to promote the interests of the service, which you have so much at heart, and will leave to the voice of your fellow-citizens to assign to you the position you deserve.

I am, with high respect and esteem, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, Major-General.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Col. Philip St. George Cocke Urging Him to Assign Officers to Regiments

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, p. 824

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

Col. P. St. George Cocke,
Virginia Volunteers, Culpeper Court-House, Va.:

Colonel : It is very important that the volunteer troops be organized and instructed as rapidly as possible. I know you are doing all in your power towards that object. It is desired that you attach to the battalions or regiments, as formed, as soon as possible, the field officers who have been or may be directed to report to you from the same region with the companies, place them at such point or points as you think best, with capable instructors, and press forward their instruction and equipment. The regiments under Colonels Garland and Preston were designed for Manassas Junction. You are requested to send them there, and as company and field officers are available which might properly be assigned to them, to forward them to the respective regiments. That the troops may be prepared for field service, it is desirable that they be removed from the towns and placed in camp, where their instruction may be uninterrupted and rigid discipline established. Officers and men will sooner become familiar with the necessities of service, and make their preparations accordingly. It is impossible at this time to furnish tents, but unoccupied buildings might possibly be obtained or temporary plank huts established. I beg you will adopt the best plan in your power to prepare the men for hard, effective service.

Respectfully, &c.,

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