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Chapter
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
R. E. Lee: A Biography

by Douglas Southall Freeman

published by Charles Scribner's Sons,
New York and London, 1934

The text, and illustrations except as noted, are in the public domain.


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Vol. I
p527
Chapter XXXI

The War Opens on Three Virginia Fronts

An empty title was left Lee when the Virginia forces were transferred to the Confederate States on June 8, 1861, an empty title and a non-existent command. The regiments raised under his care were now subject to the direction of the War Department. The staff he had called into being with so much labor ceased to function. For the moment he seems almost to have forgotten that he was a brigadier general in the regular army of the Confederacy, subject to call at any time.1 The distaste for a public life that he occasionally felt in a period of uncertainty showed itself again: "I do not know what my position will be," he confided to Mrs. Lee. "I should like to retire to private life, if I could be with you and the children, but if I can be of any service to the state or her cause, I must continue."2 He told Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Maury, in terms less particular, that he did not know "where he was." Maury commented: "You may rely on it, the Confederate States government has come here feeling that there is between it and us something of antagonism." It was Maury's private opinion that Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Davis did not like Lee.3

Considering that inquiry would smack immodestly of place-hunting, Lee had no intention of asking about his status,4 and the President had not thought to discuss it with him when, on June 10, there came news of something approaching a battle at Big Bethel,a eight miles northwest of Newport News. Major General Benjamin F. Butler had planned a surprise attack on a troublesome Confederate outpost of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Magruder's command, but one of his regiments, becoming confused, fired into another and p528 had given the alarm. A force of some 1400 Confederates met the poorly organized attack of seven Federal regiments and drove them back, inflicting seventy-six casualties, including one major and the youthful Lieutenant Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.John T. Greble, who had been one of Lee's cadets at West Point. By good chance, some of the Parrott guns purchased by Virginia in 1860 had been sent to Magruder and had been in battery at Big Bethel. They had given the Confederates a definite advantage. Although it could not have happened precisely so anywhere else in Virginia, the hurriedly mobilized Confederate forces at Big Bethel actually had seemed better equipped than had the Union troops whose government had full access to the markets of the world. This little action, involving the loss of only eight Confederate soldiers,5 naturally encouraged the South, but it was evidence that the Federals were prepared to take the offensive on the lower Peninsula. And as Magruder's position was by no means secure against combined attack by land and water, he had to be strengthened. To this task Lee was assigned immediately. Dispatching congratulations to Magruder,6 he counselled that officer and the President concerning the defense of the Peninsula and the fortification of the James, precisely as if the responsibility were still Virginia's alone. More troops and more heavy guns were forwarded, defects in the line in front of Williamsburg were corrected, the small steamer Teazer was assigned to scout duty on the lower James, and the batteries along that river were improved, somewhat contrary to Magruder's judgment and according to Lee's plans. Magruder, who was wise enough to anticipate a long contest, logically acquiesced, and very industriously prepared his command for emergencies and even embodied some of the militia.7

Operations on the Peninsula were closely bound up with those around Norfolk and on the Rappahannock. In the course of a few days, and without any formal written orders, Lee was directing the defense of eastern Virginia, including Richmond, while the War Department and the President in person took over the preparation of the forces at Harpers Ferry and Manassas Junction p529 for the attacks that manifestly were in the making. Western Virginia remained in some sense a charge both on Davis and on Lee, but the latter was authorized to carry on correspondence with Garnett and to receive that officer's reports.8

Much of the now-familiar routine was resumed. Lee expedited the construction of the system of earthworks that Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Talcott had designed for Richmond,9 and he undertook some defenses for the Rappahannock River also, having become a bit more apprehensive of possible offensive movements there.10 The probability of an attack on Norfolk he kept constantly in mind as he steadily built up its garrison and the forces on the Nansemond.11 In a short time the Norfolk line, completed and fully armed, was held by six regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and five companies of artillery, in addition to the naval units.12 Besides all this, Lee charged himself with equipping and bringing into the field the thousands of Virginia troops who had not been ready for transfer on June 8, and were now to be mustered directly into the Confederate service.13 As late as the spring of 1862, he occasionally acted as commander of the Virginia forces in matters of enlistment and organization.14 In the intervals between other assignments Lee drew up his report, as of June 15, on the mobilization of Virginia. Governor Letcher forwarded it to the convention on June 17.15 There was, of course, no vainglory in this document. It was simple and concise. Its only line of praise was for those who had responded quickly to the call of their state. Its only expression of regret was that the western counties had not supplied their quota of men.

Daily, after June 15, Lee's duties were enlarged, though they were not defined. Jealous as was President Davis of his prerogatives, and instant as was his resentment of all interference, he made the most, in frequent conferences, of Lee's abilities and of his exact knowledge of conditions in Virginia.16 Soon Lee was in one sense an acting assistant Secretary of War and in another p530 sense deputy chief of the general staff, to borrow a later military term, for Davis at this period of the war was his own chief of the general staff. Fortunately for Lee, though his own military family had changed somewhat in personnel, it was still adequate to serve him in the discharge of his miscellaneous duties. Colonel Garnett's Virginia commission had been vacated, but he had been named a brigadier general when sent to western Virginia. Walter Taylor had been retained as a first lieutenant in the regular army of the Confederacy. In Garnett's place had come Lieutenant Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.R. H. Chilton, with whom Lee had served in Texas. Colonel Deas still worked at Lee's headquarters when not engaged in making inspections, and Colonel Washington remained on duty.17

Taken as a whole, the work was both difficult and uncongenial. Although Lee discharged it cheerfully, of course, he desired to be sent on duty with troops and hoped that assignment in Richmond would be brief. "My movements are very uncertain," he wrote Mrs. Lee on June 24, "and I wish to take the field as soon as certain arrangements can be made. I may go at any moment, and to any point where it may be necessary."18

There were ample reasons why Lee could not be certain whither he would be sent. Apart from Hampton Roads and Tidewater Virginia, a sudden blow might be struck in northern or western Virginia by a secret concentration. It had been ascertained that the force which had occupied Grafton and had driven Porterfield from Philippi was part of an army commanded by Major General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.George B. McClellan, Lee's young associate of the Mexican War. The forces gathering at Chambersburg and manifestly intended for the occupation of the valley of Virginia, were under Major General Robert Patterson, now sixty-nine years of age. Lee remembered him well, of course, as leader of a division of Scott's army at the battle of Cerro Gordo. The largest army of all, mustering in Washington and on the south bank of the Potomac, had at its head Brigadier General Irvin Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.McDowell, who, during the autumn of 1846, had been with Lee in the advance of General p531 Wool's column. McClellan could march against Garnett and the head of the Shenandoah Valley, or he could, with equal readiness, reinforce Patterson in front of Harpers Ferry and at the lower end of the valley. Patterson, controlling the central army, could join either McClellan or McDowell. In front of Manassas Junction, McDowell might crush Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Beauregard or, if bold, might extend his right wing and unite in joint operations with Patterson. The general plan of the Federals, as seen from Richmond, was well conceived and was to be undertaken where the presence of mountains and the absence of railroads would deprive the Confederates of much of the advantage of the inner lines.

The next move on this long northern and western front came at Harpers Ferry, where General Johnston continued as pessimistic as ever of his prospects, though the administration again assured him of its desire to hold the place as long as practicable.19 On June 13 the Federals made a raid on Romney, fifty-five miles west of Harpers Ferry. The troops engaged in this advance belonged to Patterson's army and they returned quickly into Maryland,20 but they were assumed by Johnston to be the vanguard of McClellan's forces, moving to a junction with Patterson.21 Johnston accordingly evacuated Harpers Ferry and took position at Bunker Hill, twelve miles from Winchester on the main road from Hagerstown into the valley. "The want of ammunition," he explained, "has rendered me very timid."22 From that locality he carried on a lively correspondence with the War Department — he anxious to get more men, more ammunition, additional cavalry support, and better officers, the President very insistent that the valley be not exposed to a Federal advance, and that Johnston remain where he could co-operate quickly with Beauregard in case either his command or the army at Manassas Junction was attacked by superior forces.23 On July 2, General Patterson crossed the Potomac, and on the 3d drove in Johnston's outposts p532 and occupied Martinsburg.24 There he halted, and there he stayed. Daily expecting an attack, Johnston called out two brigades of militia and asked for the loan of 6000 or 7000 men from Beauregard's army.25 Johnston was then of opinion that Patterson was receiving 7000 to 8000 reinforcements and he had no intimation of the fact that Patterson actually was threatened with the loss of a large part of his command because of the expiration of the term of enlistment of many ninety-day volunteers.26 Davis, in reply to Johnston's request for more men, listed the calls being made for troops at Norfolk, on the Peninsula, at Manassas, and in western Virginia, and once more explained to Johnston how the whole of the Shenandoah Valley would be exposed and the army cut off from Richmond if Patterson were not halted.27 In this correspondence with Johnston, Lee had little part, for Johnston seemed resentful of orders from Lee and was inclined to be censorious in his dealings with him.28

Meantime the situation in northwestern Virginia grew ominous. Prior to the surprise of Porterfield's force at Philippi on June 3, Lee had frankly stated that the situation in front of Manassas Gap and elsewhere in Virginia was such that he could not do more to support the force in the northwestern part of the state than to forward arms and to authorize the raising of volunteers.29 After Porterfield had been driven out and Garnett had been sent to relieve him, Lee forwarded three regiments of infantry for Garnett's immediate reinforcement. Other troops were to be sent as soon as available. Garnett had studied the situation closely and had reported that the enemy showed no disposition to advance beyond Philippi. Beyond that point the Federals were not known to be in great force. In every other respect the situation had been discouraging. On his arrival at Huttonsville, thirty-one miles south of Philippi on June 14, Garnett had found only twenty-three companies of infantry, and these, he had reported, were "in a miserable condition as to arms, clothing, equipment, p533 instruction and discipline."30 Still, he had regimented these troops immediately, had pushed forward with them, and, with a single battery, had occupied the passes on Rich Mountain and Laurel Hill. These were considered the most important positions in that part of the commonwealth, because they were crossed by the main highways leading from the Baltimore and Ohio. When Garnett, on June 25, had forwarded his first detailed report to Lee, explaining his difficulties, he had stated that the majority of the people were opposed to the South and that it was almost impossible to get accurate information concerning the position of the enemy. He had discussed, however, the possibilities of attacking and destroying the Cheat River bridge, on the Baltimore and Ohio, fifty miles away, and had seemed in no wise alarmed at the outlook.31 By July 1 his little force had not mounted above 4500 effectives, and Garnett had felt compelled to ask for further reinforcements. Only twenty-three volunteers had come in, he had said; no hope could be entertained of any real accretion of strength from the country round about. If he was to hold the passes he had to keep 2000 men there, and this reduced his mobile force to 2500. Some help might be afforded, he had thought, if General Wise, who had been in the valley of the Kanawha with a newly formed "Legion," would march against Parkersburg.32 Before the receipt of this appeal Lee sent one more regiment to Garnett, and on hearing more fully of the situation he had directed two others to be forwarded under the command of able professional soldiers.33

After fortifying the mountain passes Garnett underwent a change of opinion as to the outlook. On July 5 he reported that he did not believe the enemy would attack him, primarily because he supposed the Federals had occupied as much of northwest Virginia as they could want. He questioned whether it was worth while to maintain a large force where its function would inevitably be negative, inasmuch as there was no probability that he would have enough men at his disposal to assume the offensive.34 Lee did not take this optimistic view. "I do not think it probable," he wrote on receipt of Garnett's dispatch, "that the p534 enemy will confine himself to that portion of the northwest country which he now holds, but, if he can drive you back, will endeavor to penetrate as far as Staunton. Your object will be to prevent him, if possible, and to restrict his limits within the narrowest range, which, although outnumbered, it is hoped by skill and boldness you will accomplish."35

This warning never reached Garnett. Two days before it was written General McClellan arrived in front of Rich Mountain. His communications were well covered by an ample force, and his dispositions were admirably made. The absence of anything even approaching an intelligence service on the Confederate side enabled McClellan to advance with all the elements of surprise. Rich Mountain pass was defended by a small force under Lieutenant Colonel John Pegram. Garnett held the pass to the northward on Laurel Hill. Deliberately employing the strategy that Lee had helped to develop in Mexico, McClellan planned and executed another Cerro Gordo.36 General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.W. S. Rosecrans found another unguarded path to the crest of Rich Mountain, stormed the battery there on July 11 and opened the road for McClellan, who advanced rapidly to Beverly on the 12th. Garnett, finding his flank turned by the capture of Rich Mountain, attempted to withdraw from Laurel Hill, but was pursued. In a rearguard action on the 13th he was cut off and killed at Carrick's Ford, on Shivers fork of Cheat River. Pegram and part of his command were captured the same day. The remainder of his force precipitately withdrew over successive strong positions to Monterey, thirty-five miles southeast of Beverly.37

The defeat was complete and might have been serious if McClellan had pursued, for Monterey was only some twenty miles from the railroad that led directly to Staunton, which was itself distant by road about forty miles from Monterey. Three days' hard marching might have carried McClellan to the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. No serious resistance could have been offered. The Confederate casualties had not fallen much short p535 of 1000, and most of the survivors were demoralized and scattered.38 General Scott, however, had been afraid McClellan would outrun his communications and had cautioned him against advancing too far.39 McClellan obeyed orders.

First news of the disaster reached Richmond on July 14, and created the greater distress because troops from the capital had been engaged in the operations.40 The extent of the reverse was magnified by McClellan's rhetorical congratulations to his troops. Most Southerners believed the triumph of Northern arms as great as McClellan represented it.41 Lee's first move was to urge that the strong position at Cheat Mountain, five miles in rear of Beverly, should be held, not knowing that it had already been evacuated.42 His next step was to order the quasi-independent columns of Wise and Floyd to support the defeated little army.43 Thereafter he hurried troops forward and placed General W. W. Loring in temporary command, with instructions to cling to the mountain passes, to protect the railroad, and to organize a counter offensive as soon as he thought proper.44 Lee had overtaxed even his iron endurance during the strains of those difficult July weeks, but he would have gone at once in person to attempt to redeem the evil day had not President Davis desired him to remain in Richmond, in view of the imminence of a hard battle in front of Manassas.45

On that sector Beauregard had been receiving further reinforcements, and had organized his forces into brigades, which, unknown to President Davis, he had placed somewhat in advance of the position that Lee had selected for defense.46 On July 14, the very day that the first reports of Garnett's defeat had reached Richmond, James Chesnut, Jr., a South Carolina member of the Confederate Congress, came down from Manassas with a plan for p536 the consideration of Mr. Davis. The President was sick with one of the recurring attacks that almost blinded and paralyzed him, but he immediately called a conference to which he summoned General Lee and Adjutant General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Cooper. When they came together, in the parlor of the Spotswood Hotel, Mr. Chesnut proceeded to outline, from brief notes, a grandiose strategic plan that Beauregard had directed him to submit for approval. Beauregard, he said, was of opinion that the Federals would have two lines of advance southward from the Washington defenses — one to threaten the force at Manassas, and the other to cut the communications with Johnston. That done, the Federals would be able to force Beauregard to fight at a disadvantage. Consequently, Beauregard proposed that Johnston should lend him 20,000 troops, with which force he would attack and defeat McDowell in front of Fairfax Courthouse. Next, he would detach 10,000 of his men to reinforce Johnston in overwhelming Patterson near Winchester. With Patterson destroyed, Garnett would be given sufficient troops to crush McClellan. Then Johnston and Garnett would march into Maryland and attack Washington from the rear, while Beauregard assailed the capital from the South.47

Davis and Lee opposed this plan on obvious grounds: it involved impossible concentration; it assumed Garnett and Johnston were much stronger than they actually were; it took for granted that the enemy would fight a superior force in front of Washington instead of retiring within the fortifications of the city; and, finally, it postulated a continuing offensive power the Confederate forces would not possess after so much marching and fighting.48 The whole scheme was so impractical that probably neither the President nor Lee would have remembered it had not Beauregard subsequently brought it up in his report on First Manassas.49 In discussing the situation, however, Davis and Lee again considered the plan previously formulated for co-ordinated action by Beauregard and Johnston. At the time of the conference the President did not consider that McDowell had sufficiently developed his purpose to justify an order for Johnston's withdrawal from the valley. The blow, as he then saw the p537 situation, might as readily fall in the valley as at Manassas. The practical and all-important problem was that of so timing the march of Beauregard or of Johnston, as the offensive might require, as not to jeopardize the other.50

What followed was under the personal direction of the President, rather than of Lee. On the 17th, Beauregard reported his outposts attacked and called for reinforcements from Johnston and also from General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.T. H. Holmes, who was commanding at Fredericksburg.51 Davis promptly ordered Johnston to go to Beauregard's help, if practicable.52 Receiving this order at 1 A.M. on July 18, Johnston set out as soon as he could dispose of his sick, and at noon on the 20th arrived at Manassas with the van of his army.53 Meantime, from Richmond and from Lynchburg every company that the railroads could transport was hurried forward by Davis.54 It was currently believed in the capital that the last disposable troops around the city had been moved to the front where, by this time, the whole South knew the first great battle of the war was about to be fought.55

Lee's anxiety over the situation was apparent to all his visitors.56 He of course wished to go to Manassas, but Davis considered it more important that he remain in Richmond.57 On Sunday morning, July 21, a very clear and mild day,58 President Davis found himself unable to endure the inaction he felt compelled to enjoin upon Lee. Taking a special train for the scene of the battle he left Lee to wait and to agonize. Private messages received during the forenoon told of minor advantages on either side. Then came several hours without authentic news, when rumor did its worst with wild tales of Confederate débâcle and a victorious Federal march on Richmond. After dark fell the official dispatches began to trickle in. Presently this one arrived:

Manassas, July 21, 1861.

We have won a glorious though dear-bought victory. Night closed on the enemy in full flight and closely pursued.

Jefferson Davis.59

p538 All the suspense of a frantic city broke into wild rejoicing at this news, only to be checked quickly by consciousness of heavy losses and curiosity for more details.60 By midnight Lee knew — and all Richmond knew — that after the battle had virtually been lost, the last belated units of Johnston's force had arrived on the overtaxed little railroad, had rushed into action at the right moment on a wavering front, and had precipitated a Federal retreat that soon became a mad rout. The first men to reach Richmond from Manassas, "splashed and muddy hospital stewards and quartermaster's men, who wanted more stretchers and instruments, more torniquets and stimulants,"61 brought wild tales of carnage in the ranks and staggering losses in the high command. Richmond listened, wide-eyed and speechless. Only the sluggish could sleep while apprehension for the safety of sons and joy over the triumph of Southern arms contested for the mastery of excited minds. The next day, rainy and with a heavy, cooling wind, brought more details of the victory, but only a few men came back from Manassas who had shared in the decisive phase of the battle. Not until nightfall did the President return, bringing with him the bodies of the leaders who had been killed in action. He spoke to the crowd from the Spotswood Hotel and described what had happened. An hour later, in a torrential rain, the first ambulance train rolled in with a groan, and Richmond came to herself, at last, in caring for the wounded.62

It was the first time in Lee's life that he had experienced the anguish of a battle from afar. His relief was greater, perhaps, and his emotions came more completely to the surface than in any other crisis of the war. "I almost wept for joy," he wrote Johnston, "at the glorious victory achieved by our brave troops. The feeling of my heart could hardly be repressed on learning the brilliant share you had in its achievement."63 To Beauregard he said, "I cannot express the joy I feel at the brilliant victory of the 21st. The skill, courage, and endurance displayed by yourself excite my highest admiration. You and your troops have the p539 gratitude of the whole country."64 To Mrs. Lee he opened his heart:

"That indeed was a glorious victory and has lightened the pressure upon our front amazingly. Do not grieve for the brave dead. Sorrow for those they left behind — friends, relatives, and families. The former are at rest. The latter must suffer. The battle will be repeated there in greater force. I hope God will again smile on us and strengthen our hearts and arms. I wished to partake in the former struggle, and am mortified at my absence, but the President thought it more important I should be here. I could not have done as well as has been done, but I could have helped, and taken part in the struggle for my home and neighborhood. So the work is done I care not by whom it is done."65

His part in the victory was hardly less than if he had been present. The combined forces of Beauregard and Johnston had included forty-one full and two incomplete regiments, and three battalions of infantry; two regiments, one battalion, and ten independent companies of cavalry; one battalion and nine separate batteries of light artillery; and one militia battalion with heavy artillery — a total of 35,207 men.66 Of this army, eight regiments of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, two incomplete regiments of infantry, six field batteries, the heavy artillery, and an indeterminable part of independent cavalry companies were Virginian. They constituted something more than a fourth of the army, and had, in every instance, been raised and put in the field under Lee's direction, within less than three months. General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Early was within the facts, probably, when he stated eleven years afterwards, "but for the capacity and energy displayed by General Lee in organizing and equipping troops to be sent to the front, our army would not have been in a condition to gain the first victory p540 at Manassas."67 Lee was responsible, also, for the selection of the line taken up by Beauregard,68 and it had been his military judgment, together with that of General Cocke, which had dictated the concentration at Manassas Junction. In large part, also, he fashioned the strategy of a junction between Johnston and Beauregard, though this was a move so manifestly desirable that it must have suggested itself to all who studied the situation in June and July. The doubtful consideration was not whether the one force should join the other, but when; and here it was the President who made the decision and consequently deserves the credit.

The public, however, did not reflect on the preparation that had made victory possible. It saw only the victory itself, and the men who had achieved it. Beauregard became as popular in Virginia as he had been in South Carolina or in Louisiana. Johnston took the place that Lee had occupied in the affection of Virginia people. The circumstances that had denied Lee a share in the battle of Manassas — the very service that had given him such knowledge of the military situation as to make him indispensable in Richmond prior to the battle — now operated to lower his prestige. The next unlucky turn of the wheel was to destroy that prestige altogether and was to bring him an unpopularity that might readily have ended his military career before his great opportunity came.


The Author's Notes:

1 Jones, 168. There seems to be no foundation for the story, quoted by Jones, that Lee considered enlisting in the cavalry, in the belief that he would not be assigned other duty.

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2 Letter of June 8, 1861; R. E. Lee, Jr., 35.

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3 M. F. Maury to unnamed correspondent, June 11, 1861; C. L. Lewis: Matthew Fontaine Maury, 146.

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4 Cf. 1 Davis, 309.

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5 For the reports, see O. R., 2, 77 ff.

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6 O. R., 2, 925.

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7 O. R., 2, 930,, 931,, 935,, 936,, 939,, 970‑71,, 972,, 975,, 977,, 979; O. R., 51, part 2, pp139, 141, 144, 149, 174‑75, 185‑86, 191‑92.

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8 Lee to Garnett, July 1, 1861; O. R., 2, 239.

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9 O. R., 2, 851, 864, 926; O. R., 51, part 2, pp161, 163‑64.

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10 O. R., 2, 932, 941, 978‑79, 1003.

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11 O. R., 2, 919, 928‑29, 993, 997.

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12 O. R., 51, part 2, pp164‑66. The totals given in the text were reached by July 12.

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13 Lee to Mrs. Lee, July 12, 1861; R. E. Lee, Jr., 36.

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14 Cf. infra (vol. II, p27).

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15 O. R., 2, 927‑29; Doc. 23, Virginia Convention of 1861.

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16 Taylor's Four Years, 15; R. E. Lee, Jr., 34; cf. Mrs. Chesnut, 83.

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17 Taylor's General Lee, 23; Cocke MSS., June 10, 1861. Chilton had resigned as colonel of cavalry in the provisional army of Virginia to accept a commission in the Adjutant General's department, C. S. A.; O. R., 51, part 2, p95; 11 Calendar Virginia State Papers, 116, 137.

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18 R. E. Lee, Jr., 36.

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19 O. R., 2, 923‑25.

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20 Report of Colonel Lew Wallace, O. R., 2, 123.

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21 Johnston's report, O. R., 2, 471.

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22 O. R., 2, 934.

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23 O. R., 2, 935, 937, 940, 945, 948‑49, 963. For the promotion of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.T. J. Jackson to the rank of brigadier general, see ibid., 963. The army on July 4 was styled "The Army of the Shenandoah," ibid., 963. For an ordinance authorizing a loan of $125,000 for the construction of a railroad from Strasburg to Winchester, if Lee deemed it a military necessity, see Ordinances [of the Virginia Convention of 1861] Passed at the Adjourned Session, 49‑50.

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24 O. R., 2, 157.

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25 O. R., 2, 967, 969.

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26 O. R., 2, 158 ff.

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27 O. R., 2, 974, 977.

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28 O. R., 2, 945, 948, 956, 959‑960, 962.

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29 O. R., 2, 254. For various opinions on the situation in northwest Virginia, appeals to its people, and plans for its relief, see 11 Calendar Virginia State Papers, 150, 152‑53, 179; O. R., 2, 918, 944, 951, 974‑75; O. R., 51, part 2, pp142‑43, 167‑68; Ordinances Passed at the Adjourned Session, 51‑52.

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30 O. R., 2, 236.

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31 O. R., 2, 237‑38.

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32 O. R., 2, 239‑40.

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33 O. R., 2, 240.

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34 O. R., 2, 241‑42.

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35 O. R., 2, 242.

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36 McClellan to E. D. Townsend, July 5; O. R., 2, 198: "If possible, I will repeat the maneuver of Cerro Gordo."

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37 The reports are in O. R., 2, 194 ff. The more important are McClellan, p205; Rosecrans, p214; H. W. Benham, p222; H. R. Jackson, p247; J. M. Heck, p254; Jed Hotchkiss, p261; John Pegram, p264; W. C. Scott, p273; and W. B. Taliaferro, p285. Cf. H. W. Benham: Recollections of the West Virginia Campaign, 683 ff.

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38 Cf. H. R. Jackson, O. R., 2, 181‑82.

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39 O. R., 2, 201‑2.

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40 O. R., 2, 245; De Leon, 114‑15.

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41 For an early hostile critique of McClellan's campaign, see Charles W. Hill: Comments on Major-General McClellan's Account of His West Virginia Campaign.

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42 O. R., 2, 245, 254.

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43 O. R., 2, 981.

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44 Long, 112; O. R., 2, 986. For reports on the situation, troop movements, etc., see ibid., 987, 988‑89, 989, 992, 993, 994, 995, 996, 997.

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45 Lee to Mrs. Lee, July 11, July 27, 1861; R. E. Lee, Jr., 36, 37.

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46 O. R., 2, 901, 917, 943‑44, 946, 947, 969; O. R., 51, part 2, p136. For a controversy between President Davis and Governor Letcher, regarding the appointment of militia officers called out in the emergency, see IV O. R., 1, 419‑20; O. R., 51, part 2, p169.

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47 O. R., 2, 506‑7.

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48 Davis's comment, O. R., 2, 505; Lee's ibid., 515.

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49 O. R., 2, 485. Beauregard held to the feasibility of this plan. Cf. Roman, 1, 87.

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50 Lee in O. R., 2, 515.

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51 O. R., 2, 439.

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52 O. R., 2, 473; text of order, ibid., 478.

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53 O. R., 2, 473.

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54 O. R., 2, 981, 983.

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55 De Leon, 121.

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56 D. H. Maury, 143.

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57 R. E. Lee, Jr., 37; Jones, 384.

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58 Miss Brock, 63.

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59 O. R., 2, 986.

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60 Long, 109; Miss Brock, 63; De Leon, 122.

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61 De Leon, 123.

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62 De Leon, 125.

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63 Undated letter, quoted in White, 113.

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64 Letter of July 24, 1861, quoted in White, 113.

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65 Letter of July 27, 1861; R. E. Lee, Jr., 37.

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66 These are the figures given in R. M. Johnston: Bull Run, 110. He credited Beauregard with 24,240. Beauregard's return, as of July 21, 1861, though dated Sept. 25, 1861, showed 21,863 (O. R., 2, 568). R. M. Johnston estimated McDowell's strength at around 30,000, exclusive of about 6000 in the Washington defenses (op. cit., 98). In the gross Confederate totals are included all the troops arriving at Manassas during the course of July 21.

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67 Quoted in Jones, 2.

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68 Cf. Davis, in O. R., 2, 504: "Bull Run, the position previously selected by General Lee."


Thayer's Note:

a For an excellent collection of detailed primary sources on the battle, see this page.


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Page updated: 22 Jan 14