Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper on Need for Cavalry and Staff

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. 962-963

Headquarters,
Winchester, July 2, 1861.

General S. Cooper:

General: I become more convinced daily of the great value of cavalry, compared with infantry, for service on this frontier. The quantity we have is entirely insufficient for mere scouting and outpost duty. If you can send companies enough to make up another regiment under such an officer as Colonel Stuart, you will add vastly to the strength of this force. We cannot observe the river with one regiment.

Do send me Pemberton immediately, or, if he cannot be spared, Major Rhett. I have no adjutant-general. Can you not appoint and send to me two more such as Bee and Smith ? They are to be found—Pemberton, for instance.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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





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.





Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper on Developments in His Command

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. 948-949

Headquarters,
Winchester, June 24, 1861.

General S. Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.:

General: I was informed yesterday by a person just from Baltimore, and strongly recommended to me by a friend in that place for his principles and means of information, that General Patterson’s troops are still occupying Hagerstown and Williamsport, the main body being in the former place, and six or eight thousand men under General Cadwalader in the latter.

He says that General Patterson has been corresponding with the authorities of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in relation to repairing the road, and talks of occupying Harper’s Ferry. Should he do so with less than ten or twelve thousand men, an equal force attacking him would have the advantage of ground.

Colonel Jackson, who is in the neighborhood of Martinsburg to support the cavalry which is observing the enemy, has, according to his instructions, destroyed all the rolling stock of the road within his reach. I have directed him to have such of the large stock of coal as the inhabitants require sold to them, and accounts to be kept of the sales, and the proceeds to be used in purchasing provisions in the neighborhood. I have had the pleasure to receive the order for Capt. W. E. James to report to me with his company of cavalry. We require three or four more companies of that arm from the great extent of country to be observed. Another officer capable of commanding a brigade and four or five competent to the duties of quartermasters and commissaries are greatly needed. In this connection I recommend the appointment of Lieutenants Davis and Morgan as assistant quartermasters. They have proved themselves competent to the discharge of the duties of that position.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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





Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Reinforcements and Ammunition

27 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. 942

Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office,
Richmond, June 19, 1861.

General Joseph E. Johnston,
Commanding C. S. Forces near Winchester, Va.;

General: Your letter of 18th instant just received. A large supply of ammunition for your command left here this morning, including eighty thousand percussion caps. An additional supply will be forwarded to you by to-morrow morning’s train. Every effort will be made here to support and sustain you to the extent of our means. All that is asked is to be informed promptly of your wants.

The movements of the enemy indicate the importance he attaches to the position of the valley of Virginia, and that he has probably seen the power he would acquire, if left free to do so, by advancing as far as Staunton, and then distributing his force so as to cut off our communication with the West and South, as well as to operate against our Army of the Potomac by movements upon its lines of communication, or attacking upon the reverse, supplying himself at the same time with all the provisions he may acquire in the valley of the Shenandoah, and enabling him to dispense with his long train of transportation from Pennsylvania. Everything should be destroyed which would facilitate his movements through the valley.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General.





Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on State of Affairs, Confidence, Communications, and Reinforcements

26 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. 934-935

Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office,
Richmond, June 18, 1861.

General Joseph E. Johnston, Comdg. C. S. Forces,
Camp Bunker Hill, Twelve Miles from Winchester, Va.:

Sir: Yours of the 17th instant this day delivered by Colonel Thomas, and the ammunition will start this evening under his charge by a special train. In the letter to you of the 15th, if the instructions seemed to you specific, be assured it was only intended to respond to the desire manifested in the letter communicated by you, and both then and theretofore and now the fullest reliance was placed in your zeal and discretion, and you are expected to act as circumstances may require, only keeping in view the general purpose to resist invasion as far as may be practicable, and seek to repel the invaders whenever and however it may be done. In order that all disposition may be made to meet your wants it is necessary that you should write frequently and fully as to your position, and the movements which may be contemplated by you. Since the date of my last letter to you re-enforcements have been steadily sent forward to the camp at Manassas Junction, and others will be added to that force and to yours, as the current of events may determine us to advance on one line or the other. Should we not be able to assume the offensive with prospects of success the war must for a time remain one of positions, and active operations be carried on against small detachments and lines of communication. If the enemy should advance boldly, the latter operations will become to you more easy and to him more injurious. It is needless to tell you that we are poorly supplied with disciplined troops and with transportation for maneuvering in the field, and you will therefore readily understand why we have not sought to accumulate in your command before receiving requisitions from you and before being in a condition to instruct you to advance.

Our information here—much less perfect than your own—has not led to the conclusion that a main attack was now contemplated upon your line of operations, but we have not failed to observe indications of a purpose to make such attack hereafter—probably not before affairs in Western Virginia remove the apprehensions of the enemy as to popular resistance in that quarter. We have, however, endeavored to use the limited means at control so as to meet the contingency of attack either by way of Harper’s Ferry or by Alexandria, as the case might be, should either occur before we were ready to shift the campaign to suit our own views. The advance upon Romney was most probably only intended to capture the arms which had been placed there, and a painful rumor is in circulation here that this was near being effected by surprise, on account of the neglect to have scouts and pickets on duty sufficiently far in advance to gain timely warning of the approach of an enemy. You will in the manner which you may deem most effective enforce upon all the troops under your command the necessity of the greatest vigilance and activity on picket and reconnoitering duty. If the inhabitants of the valley have rallied with spirit to your standard, you will no doubt find among them men well suited to the duty of scouts and guides. As far as it may be practicable you will seek to strip the country which may be possessed by the enemy of those things which may be most available to him, especially horses suited to the military service and herds of beef cattle. If it be possible to do so, it is desirable that the gun-stocks, gun-barrels, tilt-hammers, &c., which have not been removed from Harper’s Ferry should be brought away and sent forward for our use elsewhere.

Re-enforcements will be sent to you of such character and numbers as you may require and our means will enable us to afford; and here I would enforce upon you the necessity of communicating promptly all reliable information which you may obtain in relation to the enemy. The reports which we receive from other than official sources are so often incorrect that no action can possibly be based upon them.

Very respectfullv, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General.





Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper on Federal Activity in Maryland and Relocation of His Command

26 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. 934

Headquarters Camp Bunker Hill,
June 17, 1861.

General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:

General: On the morning of the 16th intelligence was received, apparently reliable, that no enemy is advancing on Romney, and that the large body of troops collected near Hagerstown would cross the Potomac yesterday. The troops under my command were therefore directed to this point, on the road from Hagerstown to Winchester, the main route from Maryland into the valley of Virginia. We are twelve miles in advance of Winchester. My only hope from this movement is a slight delay in the enemy’s advance. I believe his force to be about 18,000; ours is 6,500. Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, commanding our small body of cavalry, sent me intelligence last night that the Federal troops encamped yesterday afternoon about eight miles from Martinsburg (seventeen miles from this place) on this road.

I will endeavor to conform as nearly as circumstances may permit to the instructions received from you on the 15th. The want of ammunition has rendered me very timid.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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

P. S. — Colonel Thomas, who will deliver this to you, goes to expedite a supply of ammunition for small-arms. We have about thirty rounds.





Maj. Gen. Robert E. Lee to Brig. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes on Moving Forces to Manassas

24 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. 932

Headquarters,
Richmond, Va., June 17,1861.

General T. H. Holmes, Dep’t of Fredericksburg, Va.:

General: In answer to your letter of the 15th instant, addressed to General S. Cooper, I have to state that, until the plans of the enemy are more clearly disclosed, it is not considered advisable to reduce the force in the vicinity of Fredericksburg, lest that place might fall into their hands, and thus open a short and convenient line to Richmond. It is, however, desired that you keep your command in condition to move at any point when required, leaving a sufficient force to maintain the batteries. It has been stated to me that troops have been stationed at Mathias Point, Colonel Brockenbrough commanding, and that their position is unmasked and unprotected. It was designed to occupy this point with a battery, for the purpose of commanding the passage of the Potomac. Not having sufficient troops to secure it, its construction was postponed, and the guns have been applied, I presume, to other points. If your force is sufficient, I would suggest the project of its erection be resumed. Captain Lynch, of the Navy, had the matter in charge, and is informed of the circumstances of the case. Everything should be prepared, before breaking ground, for its rapid construction, and troops sufficient for holding it at the spot.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,
General, Commanding.





Brig. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes to Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper on Moving Forces to Manassas

24 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. 929

Headquarters Department of Fredericksburg,
Fredericksburg, June 15, 1861.

General S. Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

General: Since my arrival here I have made careful reconnaissance of the coast, and sought in every way possible to possess myself of the enemy’s movements and intentions. There is no evidence of a disposition on his part to land in this vicinity, and I am obliged to think that the force here is unnecessarily large. To all appearances the Federal forces will be directed against Manassas Junction and Harper’s Ferry. If those places fall, this position will be unnecessary, as he will have opened for himself a more direct route to Richmond. I beg therefore respectfully to suggest that after leaving a sufficient guard for the batteries, say 500 men, it will be better for me to march with the great body of my command to Manassas, or some other point where they can be made available, to resist the first great onslaught of the enemy. It may be the time for this move has not yet arrived, and my only object now is to inform you that if you agree with me in opinion as to the enemy’s intention, I can at very short notice march from here with three regiments of volunteers and two batteries of artillery.

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

TH. H. HOLMES,
Brigadier- General, Commanding Department.





Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper in Reply to the Latter’s Letter of June 13, 1861

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. 929-930

Headquarters Camp Long Meadow,
June 15,1861.

General Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

General: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 13th. I know myself to be a careless writer, and will not, therefore, pretend to have expressed clearly the opinions I wished to have put before the Government. I am confident, however, that nothing in my correspondence with my military superiors makes me obnoxious to the charge of desiring that the responsibility of my official acts should be borne by any other person than myself.

I had the honor yesterday to report to the President the removal of the troops from Harper’s Ferry and other matters authorized in your letter just received.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

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





Brig. Gen. Samuel Cooper to Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston on Operational Options

22 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. 923-925

Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office,
Richmond, June 13, 1861.

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

General: The opinions expressed by Major Whiting in his letter to you, and on which you have indorsed your concurrence, have been duly considered. You had been heretofore instructed to exercise your discretion as to retiring from your position at Harper’s Ferry and taking the field to check the advance of the enemy. It is to be inferred from the papers now transmitted that you have considered the authority given as not equal to the necessity of the case—that you must needs retire before the enemy was present, or otherwise that you would be unable to avoid capture, and would not be permitted to fight in retreat. In all the directions which have been given to you you will not have failed to perceive that, relying equally on your sound judgment and soldierly qualifications, it was intended that you should judge of the necessities of your condition and of the means best adapted to answer the general purpose of the campaign. As the movements of the enemy could not be foreseen, so it was impossible to give you specific directions, and the cause of the country could only be confided to one who, like yourself, was deemed entirely competent to decide upon events as they arose.

We have no reliable information that the enemy is at Cumberland, and had hoped that he could not so soon be able to reach that point. We had not anticipated that he could turn your position without your being apprised of it in time to make your movements conform to that fact. As you seem to desire, however, that the responsibility of your retirement should be assumed here, and as no reluctance is felt to bear any burden which the public interests require, you will consider yourself authorized, whenever the position of the enemy shall convince you that he is about to turn your position and thus deprive the country of the use of yourself and the troops under your command, to destroy everything at Harper’s Ferry—the bridge across the Potomac, platforms, and trestle work included—which could serve the purpose of the enemy, and retire upon the railroad towards Winchester, carrying with you all the rolling stock and destroying the road behind you. Should the people of Winchester and the surrounding valley rally to your aid in such numbers as to enable you to resume active operations, you will avail yourself of the first opportunity to attack the enemy, and endeavor to drive him from his purpose of invasion, and to do as much else as possible. The ineffective portion of your command, together with the baggage and whatever else would impede your operations in the field, it would be well to send without delay to the Manassas road.

Should you not be sustained by the population of the valley, so as to enable you to turn upon the enemy before reaching Winchester, you will continue slowly to retire to the Manassas road, upon some of the passes on which it is hoped you will be able to make an effective stand even against a very superior force. To this end it might be well to send your engineer to make a reconnaissance and to construct such temporary works as may be useful and proper.

The position of Harper’s Ferry, as has been heretofore stated, is deemed valuable because of its relation to Maryland and as the entrance to the valley of Virginia, the possession of which by the enemy will separate the eastern and western sections of the State from each other, deprive us of the agricultural resources of that fertile region, and bring in its train political consequences which it is well believed you cannot contemplate without the most painful emotions. If, therefore, much reluctance has been exhibited to a retirement from your position, you will not fail to appreciate the motives which have led to it. Should you move so far as to make a junction with General Beauregard, the enemy would be free immediately to occupy the valley of Virginia and to pass to the rear of Manassas Junction; so that, unless the proposed attack upon Alexandria should be prompt and successful, you would soon be cut off both from re-enforcements and supplies until an army could be sent large enough to defeat that before which you had retired, and you know too well our condition to render it necessary that you should be informed that this could hardly be done before the enemy could make a conjoint attack upon you by his armies both front and rear. Troops are now coming forward from the Southern States, and it is to be expected that within a week General Beauregard’s position may be re-enforced by troops equal in number to that which is reported as the effective portion of your command. If you have until then covered the valley of Virginia, General Beauregard may thus with more probable success advance upon Alexandria than by the junction of your command with his by surrendering the valley of Virginia to the enemy. It is not expected that you will believe that mere numbers will give you strength, yet it is hoped that the people fighting for their homes and their liberties, with even a small number of instructed troops, may enable you to operate successfully against such forces as are opposed to you; and it is but justice to add that the greatest confidence is placed upon your capacity to inspire others with the soldierly qualities you have so often exhibited, and that the most unlimited confidence is reposed in you both as a commander and a patriot. For these reasons it has been with reluctance that any attempt was made to give you specific instructions, and you will accept assurances of the readiness with which the freest exercise of discretion on your part will be sustained.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General.