Scott Issues Orders for the Defense of Baltimore and Alexandria

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, p. 747

Washington, D. C., July 21, 1861—1 p. m.

Commanding General at Baltimore:

Put your troops on the alert. Bad news from McDowell’s army not credited by me. Shall write again in an hour. Doubt whether I shall call Delaware regiment here or order it to Baltimore.

WINFIELD SCOTT.

—————

July 21, 1861—8 p. m.

Brigadier-General Runyon:

Of the regiments which crossed the river this morning you are directed to retain two for the defense of Alexandria. It is now known that McDowell has rallied his army at or about Centreville. Consequently, you will send forward the two regiments to support the rally. You are aware that Taylor’s regiment was Saturday morning at Burke’s Station. Cannot this regiment be ordered up to McDowell also?

WINFIELD SCOTT.





McDowell Calls for Reinforcements

5 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. 746-747

Centreville, [July] 21,1861.

Colonel Townsend :

Captain Fry writes to me to say, u Telegraph to Washington: Send on immediately all the troops that can be spared.” Colonel Hunter has just arrived, badly wounded.

D. S. MILES,
Colonel.

Fairfax Court-House, July 21,1861—5.15 o’clock.

General Scott :

I am directed to send the accompanying dispatch to you or to deliver in person.

HANSCON.

Centreville, July 21—4 p. m. Adjutant-General Thomas:

General McDowell wishes all the troops that can he sent from Washington to come here without delay. He has ordered the reserve now here under Colonel Miles to advance to the bridge over Bull Run, on the Warrenton road, having driven the enemy before him. Colonel Miles is now about three or four miles from here, directing operations near Blackburn’s Ford, and in his absence I communicate.

G. H. MENDELL,
First Lieutenant, Topographical Engineers.





Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Updates Maj. Gen. George B. McCellan on Developments in Virginia

4 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. 746

July 21,1861.

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

I sympathize with you on the subject of Cox. You will soon redeem blunders, and so will McDowell. Johnston has amused Patterson and re-enforced Beauregard. McDowell is this forenoon forcing the passage of Bull Run. In two hours he will turn the Manassas Junction and storm it to-day with superior force.

WINFIELD SCOTT.





Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Informs McDowell of Confederate Reinforcements from Winchester, and of Forwarding of Four Regiments from Washington

4 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. 746

Headquarters of the Army,
Washington, July 21,1861.

Brigadier-General McDowell, Commanding, &c.:

It is known that a strong re-enforcement left Winchester on the afternoon of the 18th, which you will also have to beat. Four new regiments will leave to-day to be at Fairfax Station to-night. Others shall follow to-morrow: twice the number, if necessary.

WINFIELD SCOTT.





Army Headquarters Notifies McDowell of Forwarding of Hunt’s Battery and Forty Recruits

4 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. 746

Headquarters of the Army,
July 20, 1861—1.30 a. m.

Brigadier-General McDowell, &c., Centreville:

Your dispatch received at 1.5 a. m.* It is now 1.30 a. m.

Hunt’s battery left here at 5 a. m. yesterday by Fairfax road. We have but forty recruits; orders have been given to send them forward. It will be some time before they reach you, as there is no officer to spare to send with them.

By command of General Scott:

SCHUYLER HAMILTON,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Military Secretary.

*See p. 307. (Letter dated July 19, 1861, to “Colonel.”)





McDowell Forwards Intelligence on Enemy Dispositions to Army Headquarters

31 10 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. 722-723

[Memorandum for General Scott.]

Hdqrs. Department Northeastern Virginia,
Arlington, June 25, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. Townsend,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters of Army:

Statement of Mr. J—–u, a man on whom I rely:

Arrived at Fairfax Court-House Thursday, 20th instant; found there Prince William company and the Rappahannock—about sixty-five in each company. Friday morning these companies went to Fairfax Station, leaving nobody in the town. Friday night the South Carolina regiments began to come, and Saturday night it was said there were three regiments at the Court-House and another coming; saw the three himself—amounting to about 3,000 men. Started for the Junction about 8.30; went by Germantown and Centreville. At Germantown saw Gregg’s South Carolina regiment—about 1,000. The road between Fairfax and Centreville much obstructed about one mile before you get to the Bald Hill, where there are five cannon planted.

At Centreville, Bonham, of South Carolina, was in command. He had other troops besides his own regiment and the artillery. At Bull Bun there was an entrenchment on the right bank—four guns. Two regiments of South Carolinians stationed there; they had been there but a short time. Bull Bun Crossing is five miles from Centreville and two from Manassas Junction. Arrived at Manassas Junction at 10 o’clock a. m.; saw General Beauregard; staid until 3 p. m.; returned the same way he went. On reaching Bull Run, found the South Carolina regiments had struck their tents, had their wagons packed, and were moving in the direction of Centreville and Fairfax Court-House, taking their four cannon with them, occupying the road for about two miles. Had a difficulty in passing the column. The colonel asked if he had a pass; showed him one from General Beauregard; was then allowed to pass. He was cautioned by the colonel not to speak of movements of troops even to their own men. These regiments did not come to the Court-House. At Centreville things were not as they were when he went through first. At Germantown found Gregg’s regiment had broken up its camp and moved to the Court-House, and was encamped near the Little River turnpike, about one-quarter mile from the Court-House. Learned that Gregg’s place at Germantown had been supplied by another regiment or regiments, and supposes it may have been by those he passed at Bull Bun and those which were on the march to the front.
At Fairfax Station there were about 800 men—Virginians. The South Carolina regiments were all (except one—Spratt’s) about 1,000 men each. Forty of Gregg’s regiment had the measles. The two regiments on the march from Bull Bun had about fifty wagons for their baggage and supplies, old road and farmers’ wagons, five to six horses each. Wagons well crammed up to the bows. The South Carolina regiments were the best armed and equipped and in high spirits, “freezing for a fight,” being much elated by the Vienna affair. Negroes with them as servants. Cavalry, estimated, all told, 1,500; 500 Louisianians and 1,000 Virginians; mounted so-so as to Virginians; those from Louisiana good. Virginia cavalry armed irregularly with double-barreled shot-guns, pistols, fowling-pieces, some carbines, and sabers. Horse furniture indifferent, made up of odds and ends. Louisiana cavalry better in all respects—men, horses, arms, and equipments. The total at the Junction and the places this side he estimated at 20,000, all told. There are twenty Kentucky well-mounted guerrillas. Five of them took the Connecticut man prisoner. The Connecticut man seemed well pleased with being a prisoner. Subsistence, chiefly ship biscuit and fresh beef. Crops—wheat very fine; grass, corn, and oats indifferent. They seemed to be expecting an attack from us. Saw no guns at Germantown. Saw five guns harnessed at Court-House. Saw five guns at Centreville. Saw four guns at Bull Bun.

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

IRVIN MCDOWELL,
Brigadier- General.





Those Plans (Plural) of June “24,” 1861

24 10 2020

Today’s update to the Correspondence – USA Official page of the Resources section is Irvin McDowell’s June 24th response to Winfield Scott’s June 20th request for a plan for his force to cooperate with that of Maj. Gen. (of PA Militia) Robert Patterson’s force to “sweep the enemy from Leesburg to towards Alexandria.” A few things to keep in mind:

  • McDowell took four days to respond to Scott’s request. Patterson’s response came in just one day.
  • Neither man seemed very enthusiastic about the project, to put it lightly.
  • McDowell’s response to Scott’s request should in no way be construed as having anything at all to do with his plans to move against Beauregard at Manassas Junction. In my opinion, some historians have done exactly this, particularly pertaining to McDowell’s plans against Bory having some sort of “requirement” regarding Patterson’s responsibilities. McDowell clearly cast out that excuse after the fact and the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War (JCCCW) took the bait, but I see no validity in it whatsoever.
  • McDowell’s plans for the movement against Manassas is dated by the compilers as “about June 24, 1861.” This seems odd because McDowell sent his plan for the Leesburg/Alexandria proposal on June 24th. So why was he sending another plan on the same day? I suspect it was written later, but perhaps it was written after some discussion with Scott on the 24th (the second plan was submitted, McDowell says, “in compliance with the verbal instructions of the General-in-Chief”). If so, McDowell sure came up with that plan fast. Another possibility is that he didn’t like the plan to co-operate with Patterson and anticipated that he would be asked for an alternative, and so came up with one in advance. Maybe that’s why it took him four days to respond. Would love to know the compilers’ reasoning for the assumed date. Guess I’ll need to see the actual document. (Keep in mind that the published Official Records – the “ORs” – are NOT in and of themselves primary documents. They’re transcriptions of primary documents.)




Col. Ambrose Burnside to Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott on the Progress of the 1st Rhode Island Infantry to Brig. Gen. Patterson’s Command

23 10 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. 715-716

Camp Sprague,
Washington, D. C., June 22, 1861.

Lieut. Gen. W. Scott, Headquarters U. S. Army:

Sir: I have the honor to report that the regiment under my command, in pursuance to orders from headquarters of the U. S. Army, departed from Washington on Monday, June 10, for the purpose of joining the column of Major-General Patterson, then moving from Chambersburg upon Harper’s Ferry. The battery of artillery attached to the command, with the baggage, preceded the main body of the regiment twelve hours.

Early upon Monday morning we left camp, and, marching to the station of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, entered the cars prepared for our transportation, and were carried to Baltimore. The command was composed of 1,128 men and 117 officers, accompanied by a long wagon train. The passage through Baltimore was peacefully made, and, taking the cars of the Northern Central Railroad, the entire regiment reached Chambersburg, Pa., on the morning of Tuesday, June 11, when I immediately reported to Major-General Patterson for duty. Still proceeding by rail, we reached Greencastle at noon, and encamped. The command remained in camp at Greencastle until Saturday morning, when, in conjunction with the First Brigade of Major-General Patterson’s column, under command of Colonel Thomas, the line of march was taken up for Williamsport, Md. That place was reached at noon, and occupied by the force of which this regiment formed a part.

On Sunday a portion of the battery of artillery was ordered across the Potomac to Falling Waters; but, in accordance with orders from Major-General Patterson, it was recalled on Monday, and the regiment, once more complete, commenced its march at an early hour for Frederick City. The route lay through Hagerstown, Boonsborough, and Middletown, and in these places the command was received with enthusiastic demonstrations of favor. The march continued through the entire day and a part of the following night, with an interval of three hours for rest at Boonsborough.

At 12.30 a. m. on Tuesday the regiment bivouacked in the immediate vicinity of Frederick, having accomplished a march of thirty-three miles. Soon after sunrise the regiment marched into the city, and remained there through the day.

At 7 p. m. we left Frederick by rail and proceeded to Washington, arriving at 6 o’clock on Wednesday morning, June 19. It gives me pleasure to assure the General-in-Chief of the gratification which I feel at the bearing and conduct of the command during this expedition. The fatigues of the way were endured with fortitude, and had any danger threatened I have no doubt that it would have been bravely met. As it is, I cannot avoid the expression of my satisfaction that the object of the expedition in which this regiment participated was attained in safety and without the loss of life. The command is now in an effective condition for the further service of the Government of the United States.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE,
Colonel, Comdg. First Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers.





Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson’s Plan for the Proposed Movement from Leesburg to Alexandria

21 10 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. 711-712

Hagerstown, Md., June 21, 1861.

Col. E. D. Townsend,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. 8. Army, Washington City:

Colonel: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the telegram of the General-in-Chief calling for a plan of operations with a portion of my force to sweep the enemy from Leesburg, &c. Inclosed is a copy of my telegraphic reply. The following is my plan more in detail:

To carry out the views of the General-in-Chief I propose—

First. To occupy the Maryland Heights with a brigade (2,100 men); fortify and arm with Doubleday’s artillery, and provision for twenty days, to secure against investment.

Second. To move all supplies to Frederick, and immediately thereafter abandon this line of operations; threaten with a force to open a route through Harper’s Ferry, this force to be the sustaining one for the command on Maryland Heights.

Third. To send everything else available (horse, foot, and artillery) to cross the Potomac near Point of Rocks, and unite with Colonel Stone at Leesburg. From that point I can operate as circumstances shall demand and your orders require. If no blow is to be struck here, I think this change of position important to keep alive the ardor of our men as well as to force an enemy.

The reasons for this change of depot will be so apparent to the General-in-Chief that I need not refer to them. By the employment of the local transportation of the country I can soon make the necessary changes, and will hasten to carry out your orders.

I have many reports in regard to the movements of the force opposite us in Virginia, and have reason to believe that when the regulars were withdrawn, General Johnston, with thirteen thousand men and twenty-two pieces of artillery, was marching to the attack, and that night posted his force, expecting from us an attack the following morning. I regret we did not meet the enemy, so confident am I that, with this well-appointed force, the result would have been favorable to us, and that this portion of Virginia would now be peaceably occupied.

Reports of the enemy having returned to Harper’s Ferry and had driven the occupants to this shore reached me yesterday. I immediately dispatched a strong force to take position in the vicinity of Sharpsburg and protect all parties on this side of the river, and drive back any force which may attempt to cross.

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

R. PATTERSON,
Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

Hagerstown, Md., June 21, 1861.

Col. E. D. Townsend, Washington City:

The telegram of the General-in-Chief of yesterday was received at midnight. To carry out proposed plan I think involves a change of depot to Frederick and evacuation of Williamsport and Hagerstown. With an enemy close at hand, a move suddenly, with present amount of transportation, necessitates sending a large mass of stores back to Harrisburg or their abandonment.

Maryland Heights can be secured, and Frederick also, and a strong force of infantry, some cavalry, and artillery sent via Frederick to Leesburg to sweep the enemy from that point to Alexandria. If no blow is to be struck here, and this meets the views of the General-in-Chief, I will at once commence moving, and be in position to act at the earliest practicable moment. I send a regiment to-day to Frederick at the urgent solicitation of the governor. I shall write in full by mail. Reconnaissance of heights being made. Send your telegrams via Harrisburg, Chambersburg, &c. Frederick line cannot be relied upon.

R. PATTERSON,
Major-General, Commanding.





Army A. A. G. E. D. Townsend to Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell on Proposed Movement from Alexandria to Leesburg

21 10 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. 711

Washington, June 21, 1861.

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

Sir: The General-in-Chief sends you the inclosed copy of instructions to Major-General Patterson,* and desires you to propose a column to co-operate from this end, according to the outline plan indicated.
I am, &c.,

E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

*See Scott to Patterson, June 20, p. 709.