Today in History:

25 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


now fully developed to you and myself by the inclosed papers? I shall await your orders in this particular connection.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Potomac Department.

Major-General LEE, Commander-in-Chief.


CULPEPER COURT-HOUSE, VA., May 7, 1861 - 6.45 a. m.

Colonel R. S. GARNETT, Adjutant-General:

SIR: After writing you last night, and having previously ascertained during the day and up to 10 o'clock p. m. last night that I could not communicate with the command of Colonel Taylor after Colonel Terrett left Alexandria, to go to him at Springfield, because, after several attempts, through the telegraph operator at Alexandria, to send a dispatch through various persons, none of whom could be found in Alexandria, and when the operator finally advised me that not one single man connected with the military had been left to speak to me through the wires, I immediately determined to send one of my aides, Giles B. Cooke, to put myself in communication with Colonels Taylor and Terrett; and, accordingly, Mr. Cooke left me at 2 o'clock last night, by an extra train, bearing copies of the telegrams which I had failed to put through to Colonel Terrett, because of his departure from Alexandria for Springfied, no one having been left at Alexandria in whom I could confide and through whom I might have transmitted it; and bearing also a letter of instructions sent by me to Colonel Terrett, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. Mr. Cooke will proceed to Alexandria with dispatch, after having communicated with Colonel Terrett, and will once more enable me to have one person at least in Alexandria with whom I can converse through the wires. He is instructed to give me information upon which I can rely the moment of his arrival at Alexandria.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Colonel TERRETT,

Commanding Troops at or near Alexandria, Va.:

SIR: I have endeavoring up to this moment to communicate with you by telegraph, through Alexandria, and learn through the operator there that not one single military man has been left at that end of the wire. I send Mr. Cooke, my second aide, by extra train, to put me in communication with you and your command, and to convey to you the substance of telegrams which have ben stooped in Alexandria in the hands of the operator. By these you will find that I am not informed of any circumstance whatsoever that could have furnished just and sufficient cause, of any cause at all, of the movement of the troops out of Alexandria; and, as all my orders from headquarters, and all my own purposes in accordance therewith, and my late order to Colonel Taylor, enjoined the holding of the troops in Alexandria until absolutely driven out by force of arms, and even then to retire fighting, if possible without endangering the unnecessary destruction of your force, I must there fore now order that the troops return to Alexandria, if it be practicable, and if any movement of the enemy has taken place unknown to me, and which