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.





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 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.





Brig. Gen. Philip St. George Cocke to Col. Robert S. Garnett, on the Move to Manassas

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. 817-818

Headquarters Potomac Department,
Culpeper Court-House, Va., May 8,1861.

Col. R. S. Garnett:

Sir: In accordance with orders received from the general-in-chief, to post at Manassas Junction sufficient force to defend that point against any attack likely to be made against it by troops from Washington, I immediately ordered the Powhatan troop of cavalry to march from this place this morning, to join Capt. J. S. Green’s company, now at Amissville, Rappahannock County, and to proceed together to Manassas Junction, where there are two (raw, undrilled, ununiformed, and armed with the altered musket) Irish companies, lately sent out from Alexandria, and which I had ordered to be held and drilled at Manassas Junction. We will endeavor to use these companies. I have also ordered one section (two pieces) of Captain Kemper’s artillery, (the only part of his battery at all available as foot artillery, and that rendered available by doubling upon the two pieces the horses and ammunition he had for the four pieces), which I shall also take along to the same point. The Powhatan troop of cavalry and the section of artillery are absolutely all of the force at all available at this time at this place. I have telegraphed back to Charlottesville for two companies of riflemen to be dispatched to this point, and learn from Lieutenant-Colonel Fry that I will get but one, and that not until this evening.

Looking to Lynchburg, I learn that the armed companies of that place are now in Richmond, under Colonel Garland. If so, I trust, sir, they will be immediately dispatched to the command at Manassas.

We have no ammunition of any kind, except the limited supply sent forward to Alexandria. I shall gather in as fast as possible the armed companies that have not been mustered into the service throughout my department (if any there be besides those referred to), and concentrate them here at Manassas and Alexandria, as occasion may require.

From three to five thousand muskets or rifles should be immediately forwarded to this point for the use of this command; thence to be drawn for arming companies, as mustered into service. Some place will be provided as a magazine at this point. The powder, balls, munitions, equipments, and all ammunition whatsoever required for at least five thousand men, should be immediately prepared and forwarded to this place.

The city of Alexandria, situated, as it is, in the re-entering curve of the river opposite to Washington, on the convex side of that curve, is a point difficult to hold, in case the enemy shall have any designs upon it in the present weak condition of our forces. The enemy, by proceeding below, to Fort Washington or Mount Vernon, may turn the position, take it in the rear, and cut off its communication, and so by advancing over the bridges from above the enemy may, by short lines, turn and get in the rear of that place. In order to prevent such a disaster there should be, obviously, outside of and behind Alexandria, a force sufficient to throw out outpost guards, radiating upon the possible lines of advance of the enemy, to protect that place in the rear, and thus to support and cover the little force now held in Alexandria, and prevent its capture or annihilation. With such an arrangement the force in Alexandria could return, without danger of being surprised, and find support in falling back upon the force in its rear. But I have absolutely nothing at present out of which to constitute such a supporting force in rear of Alexandria. As soon as I can collect the means, or you shall send them to me, I shall endeavor to make the best use of them to this end.

Very respectfully, your obedient,

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

John Shackleford Green became captain of Co. B, 6th Virginia Cavalry.

William H. Fry became Lt. Col. of the 1st Va. Infantry.

Samuel Garland, Jr., became Col. of the 11th Va. Infantry