Col. Eppa Hunton to Col. Thomas Jordan on Provisions and Ammunition in Georgetown and Local Request for Reinforcements

20 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. 915-916

Camp Mason, Leesburg, June 9, 1861.

Lieut. Col. Thos. Jordan, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

Sir: Inclosed please find a memorial from a committee on behalf of the citizens of this county, asking for additional forces for the defense of this point. If it is the design of the military authorities to defend this portion of Virginia, then it is very important that additional forces should be concentrated here. I feel very sensibly the importance of this fertile country to the subsistence department of our army and that of the enemy. Besides, if a good force be placed here, it will cut off the enemy from one of the routes to Harper’s Ferry. I earnestly second the wishes of the petitioners, and ask that at least twenty-five hundred men be sent here.

I have just learned from reliable information that there are ten canal-boats in Georgetown loaded with provisions and ammunition. I am assured from a clergyman who has been across the river that this information is reliable. With the additional force asked for we would probably be able to cut to pieces any force that they may send up, under the impression that we have only a few hundred men here. Send the force asked for if the exigencies of the service will allow it.

I have no information of any movement of the enemy on this side the river.

Your dispatch was received to-day in regard to tearing up railroad and burning the ties. Will you inform me whether I am to put the troops here at that work and stop their drill ? The guard duty here is very heavy, and if a force has to be detailed for the purpose indicated it will break up our drill, which is very important to our raw, undisciplined troops. Your orders shall be obeyed.

Very respectfully,

EPPA HUNTON,
Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

Leesburg, Va., June 9, 1861.

Col. Eppa Hunton:

The undersigned, a committee in behalf of the citizens of Loudoun County, respectfully represent that it is our impression, in which we believe you concur, that the military force at Camp Mason, under your command, is totally inadequate to the protection and defense of this portion of the State of Virginia, which we are assured is attractive to the enemy, for the following reasons:

1st. We border upon the Potomac River, which forms our boundary for thirty miles, upon which there are not less than thirteen fords and ferries. Leesburg, the county seat, is within four miles of the nearest crossing. We are within thirty miles of Washington City, whence we can be approached by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which runs parallel with the Potomac River, and by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the Point of Rocks.

2d. We are a large wheat and corn growing country, with heavy crops of the former now nearly matured. There are not less than twenty thousand cattle now being grazed in the county, a large proportion of which are fat and ready for market, and at least one thousand of these are upon the flats of the river. This is exclusive of the dairy stock, hogs, sheep, &c. There are large amounts of flour, bacon, and grain of last year’s growth. A very important item must not be omitted; that is, a large stock of the finest horses, suited to cavalry and artillery service.

We deem it well worthy of serious consideration that there is a large Union element in Loudoun, and that it is the policy of the Federal administration to intervene in their behalf. In view of these considerations, and of the fact that the Federal papers have frequently spoken of Leesburg as an eligible position for a camp for the Federal forces, by reason of its healthfulness and the productiveness of the surrounding country, we feel it highly important that a force of troops shall be immediately stationed here sufficient to successfully repel invasion, and respectfully beg that you will exert your influence to attain this end.

Respectfully,

THO. W. EDWARDS ET AL.