#1 – Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell

11 12 2020

Report of Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U. S. Army. [On the Action at Vienna, June 17, 1861]

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, pp 124-125

Headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, June 18, 1861.

I have the honor to inclose a copy of my written instructions to General Schenck, under which his movement was made yesterday afternoon. The point to which it was intended the regiment should go by train, and establish itself for the twenty-four hours, had been occupied, for the day before, by the Sixty-ninth New York Regiment, under Colonel Hunter, commanding the brigade. The latter regiment had been sent there, on the return of General Tyler from his reconnaissance up the road, as an advance guard and a protection to the road, which had been repaired in anticipation of the demonstration I was to make on the notification of the General-in-Chief in favor of the attack on Harper’s Ferry. It is said the attack on the Ohio regiment was made by the South Carolinians. If so, they must have been moved forward from Centreville, where they have been stationed for some time past. This would seem to indicate that the reports of an advance of troops to their posts in front of this position are well founded. I have asked if it would accord with the plans of the General-in-Chief that a movement be made in force in the direction of Vienna, near which the attack was made. I learn from a reliable source that the force at Fairfax Court-House has been increased. Had the attack not been made, I would not suggest this advance at this time; but now that it has, I think it would not be well for us to seem even to withdraw. General Schenck applies for permission to send a flag of truce to Vienna to bury his dead and care for his wounded. I do not think this necessary for either purpose, but think the morale of the troops would be increased if they went over the ground again with arms in their hands. The distance by turnpike from Falls Church to Vienna is about six miles.

General Tyler, who is in advance, sends me word that he sees the country as far as Falls Church. No signs of any movement. He wants no more troops than he has, unless it is intended to hold permanently the position he occupies.

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

Irvin McDowell,
Brigadier General, Commanding.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Army, Washington.

[Inclosure.]

Headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, June 17, 1861.

Brigadier-General Schenck, Commanding Ohio Brigade:

Sir: The general commanding directs that you send one of the regiments of your command, on a train of cars, up the Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad to the point where it crosses the wagon-road running from Fort Corcoran, opposite Georgetown, southerly into Virginia.

The regiment, being established at that point, will, by suitable patrols, feel the way along the road towards Falls Church and Vienna, moving, however, with caution, and making it a special duty to guard effectually the railroad bridges and to look to the track. The regiment will go supplied for a tour of duty of twenty-four hours, and will move on the arrival at your camp of a train of cars ordered for that purpose, and will relieve all the troops of Colonel Hunter’s brigade now guarding the line.

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

JAMES B. FRY,
Assistant Adjutant-General.





Lt. Col. Edward D. Townsend, Army AAG, to McDowell on Diminishing His Command

15 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 755-756

Headquarters Army, July 22,1861.

Brigadier-General McDowell, U. S. A, Arlington, Va.:

Captain Wright, Engineers, is detached from your department. Send another engineer in his place.

For the garrison of the forts and their support, fifteen regiments and such field batteries as you deem necessary will be retained in your department. The General-in-Chief desires you to send over to this side all the remaining troops and all the wagons and teams not absolutely needed for your purposes.

Send in the wagons all the camp equipage not required by your fifteen regiments.

E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


Headquarters Army, July 22,1861.

General McDowell, U. S. A., Arlington:

General Scott says it is not intended you should reduce your command to the minimum number of regiments mentioned by him (fifteen) to-day, but if the enemy will permit, you can take to-morrow or even the next day for the purpose.

E. D. TOWNSEND.





Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, Colonel John H. McCunn, 37th New York Infantry, and Col. Thomas A. Scott, Army Railroads and Telegraph, Discuss Dispositions

14 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 754

Headquarters Army, July 22, 1861.

Colonel McCunn, Thirty-seventh New York, Fairfax Station:

Come in with the regiments with you and Colonel Woodbury to your camps in Washington.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Alexandria, July 22, 1861.

Col. T. A. Scott:

General Scott’s last instructions to me last night, before I retreated, was to retire to our camps in Washington. Is this order to be respected?

McCUNN.

[Indorsement.]

He evidently meant to the lines of the Potomac, to cover retreat, protected by the forts, of the straggling army of McDowell, which is now coming in.

T. A. S





Scott to Runyon on Manning the Defenses of Washington

13 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 753

Monday, July 22, 1861—a. m.

General Runyon, Alexandria, Va.:

Consult engineers, and strengthen the garrisons of Forts Ellsworth, Runyon, and Albany. Similar instructions are given* in respect to Fort Corcoran. Some regiments besides the garrisons will be halted on that side of the river; the number to be determined by General Mansfield or General McDowell, when the troops arrive from the interior.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

* To Col. Andrew Porter.





Col. John H. McCunn, 37th New York Infantry, to Scott from Fairfax Station

13 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 753

Fairfax Station, July 22,1861—12.15 a. m.

General Scott:

I have my own regiment, 700; Colonel Taylor’s New Jersey, 825; Colonel Johnson’s New Jersey, 550.

I have heard no firing so far as I can hear. Panic is unabated.

I have sent an aide to General McDowell two hours and a half since; he has not returned.

I will dispatch another, and inform you at once.

One has returned.

McCUNN.





Scott Communicates with McClellan on Possible Movements, and Calls Him to Washington

12 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 752-753

Beverly, Va., July 22 [?], 1861

General Winfield Scott:

Your telegraph of 8 p. m. received. I am much pained at its contents. My three-months’ men are homesick and discontented with their officers, and determined to return at once. When I suggested the Staunton movement I expected these regiments to unite in it. I should be compelled to fight the enemy now ascertained in force at Monterey, and should reach Staunton without men enough to accomplish much. McDowell’s check would greatly increase my difficulties and render numerous detachments necessary to keep open my communications and protect my flanks. How would it meet your views were I to leave, say, four regiments at Huttonsville and in the strong position of Cheat Mountain, one at Beverly, one at Bulltown, and send two or three and a better general to re-enforce Cox, then move with the rest by railroad to New Creek, on Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, find effect a junction with Pattterson near Jamesburg, on the road from New Creek to Charlestown? With this force, in addition to such State troops as Pennsylvania can furnish, we should be able either to defeat Johnston or separate him from Beauregard, and, connecting with McDowell, fight them in detail. I shall know early to morrow the exact condition of the three-years’ regiments now in Ohio and Indiana. Depending upon that information, I can join Patterson with probably fifteen thousand men besides such as Pennsylvania can furnish. The time required would be about seven days, perhaps six, from the day on which I receive your orders until the junction with Patterson at Jamesburg. This, though not so brilliant a plan as a movement on Staunton, appears to me the sounder and safer one. Whatever your instructions may be, I will do my best to carry them out. I will suspend all further preparations for my projected movement on Kanawha until I hear from you. Please reply by telegraph at once.

Geo. B. McClellan,
Major-General, U. S. Army.


Headquarters, July 22,1861—1 a. m.

General McClellan, Beverly, Va.:

After fairly beating the enemy, and taking three of his batteries, a panic seized McDowell’s army, and it is in full retreat on the Potomac. A most unaccountable transformation into a mob of a finely-appointed and admirably-led army. Five regiments have been ordered to join you from Ohio. Brigadier-General Reynolds has been commissioned and ordered to report to you. Remain in your present command instead of going to the Valley of the Shenandoah.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Adjutant-General’s Office,
Washington, D. C., July 22, 1861.

General George B. McClellan, Beverly, Va.:

Circumstances make your presence here necessary. Charge Rosecrans or some other general with your present department and come hither without delay.

L. THOMAS,
Adjutant- General.





Scott Communicates with Col. Daniel Sickles, 70th New York Infantry, and Brig. Gen. Theodore Runyon on Disposition of Their Forces

9 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 749

Headquarters Army, Washington, July 21,1861.

Col. Sickles, Staten Island, N. Y.:

Send your regiments to this city instead of Harper’s Ferry, and hurry them.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Alexandria, July 21,1861.

Lieutenant-General Scott:

General McDowell directs me to ask whether I shall send the troops out of the fortifications?

T. RUNYON.


Headquarters Army, July 21,1861.

General Runyon, Alexandria, Va.:

Send forward no more troops from Alexandria during the night.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Headquarters Army, Washington, July 21, 1861.

General Runyon, Alexandria:

Let the two New Jersey regiments remain at Fairfax Station, as General McDowell must know they are there, and will call them up if he needs them.

The brig-of-war Perry will be towed down to Alexandria for any assistance she can render with her battery.

WINFIELD SCOTT.





Scott Orders McClellan to the Shenandoah Valley

9 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 749

Washington, July 21,1861—[8 p. m.].

Major-General McClellan, U. S. A.:

McDowell has been checked. Come down to the Shenandoah Valley with such troops as can be spared from Western Virginia, and make head against the enemy in that quarter. Banks and Dix will remain at Baltimore, which is liable to revolt.

WINFIELD SCOTT.





Colonel John H. McCunn, 37th New York Infantry, and Colonel Dwight A. Woodbury, 4th Michigan Infantry, Communicate with McDowell and Army HQ

8 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, p. 748

Fairfax, July 21, 1861.

General McDowell:

I have learned from my scouts that large trees are felled across the turnpike on road from here to Alexandria. Things are looking ugly here.

McCUNN.


Fairfax Court-House, July 21,1861—9.10 p. m.

Col. E. D. Townsend:

We are reliably informed that the enemy’s cavalry will attack us on the left to-night.

Send instructions.

D. A. WOODBURY,
Colonel, Commanding [Fourth Michigan Infantry].


Fairfax Station, July 21,1861—11.5.

Lieutenant-General Scott:

Orders have arrived that no more regiments are to come here from Alexandria to-night.

I have placed myself in best position. Have removed obstructions of slide from railroad track.

I have no communication from General McDowell.

I am guarding the roads lest a surprise.

Colonel Woodbury telegraphed me that he expects an attack from cavalry. What shall I do?

McCUNN,
Thirty-Seventh New York Volunteers.


Washington, July 21,1861—11.45 p. m.

Colonel McCunn, Fairfax Station:

General McDowell is at Fairfax Court-House, where he will try to make a stand. Communicate with him there, and also let Colonel Woodbury know.

WINFIELD SCOTT.





Scott Advises McDowell of Available Resources and Options

7 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. – UNION

O. R. – Series I – VOLUME 2 [S #2] CHAPTER IX, pp. 747-748

Headquarters Army, July 21, 1861.

General McDowell, Fairfax Court-House;

Three regiments—Woodbury’s, McCunn’s, and another, name not known—are at Fairfax Station.

A commissary train is stopped a little way out of Alexandria with a drove of cattle. Call it up, if you mean to risk a stand; but under the circumstances it seems best to return to the line of the Potomac.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Headquarters of the Army,
July 21,1861—9 p. m.

General McDowell, Centreville:

Besides three regiments sent you by General Runyon from the reserve, four regiments have crossed the river to-day. Two of the latter we know have reached Fairfax Station. The other two must be there in a few minutes. We suppose you to have rallied your army at Centreville, or, at the worst, you will rally at Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station. We know that you and your experienced officers will do all that is proper and possible. A company of regulars has also gone over. Additional re-enforcements shall follow early to-morrow. We are not discouraged.

WINFIELD SCOTT.