Today in History:

36 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 36 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

assurance that he should not be fired upon by the volunteer force under my command (which, by the way, had by that time nearly retreated to the line of defense which I intended to occupy and where I designed making the first resistance). I also urged our citizens to abstain from any attack, which counsel, I am pleased to say, prevailed with them. The entire body then marched into the town as far as the intersection of our main streets, halted for a short while, and then returned. I have since learned that this body was supported by about three hundred men, with a battery of the march. But this latter information do not consider so reliable. I have only to add, in this connection, that the force at my command, as estimated by information since derived from the several captains, was only one hundred and thirty men on the approach of the enemy. This demonstration, in my judgment, indicates the propriety of removing the camp farther from Hampton than the point already agreed upon. Our people have responded very indifferently to the call for aid in erecting intrenchments at the points indicated by you, and the proposed location of the camp is distinctly visible from the dome of the Chesapeake Female College, if not from the ramparts of the fort, and I do not doubt but that the erection of the first tent would be the signal for another such demonstration. Under this conviction I shall delay operations on the camp until I receive your reply, through nearly all the timber is at hand, and operations would have commenced in the morning. The order directing the removal of the cannon had been carried into execution, and they were beyond the reach of seizure.

I make no comments, restricting myself to a brief statement, merely remarking that Lieutenant Curshaw, who was present most of the time, will be at the Grove Wharf to-morrow, and can give derailed information on all points not sufficiently elucidated. As soon as they left I sent a dispatch to the battalion to return in order to the town for the discharge of their usual duties.

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


Major Artillery, Virginia Volunteers.

Lieutenant Colonel BENJ. S. EWELL,

Active Virginia Volunteers, Williamsburg, Va.

No. 2. Reports of Colonel John. B. Magruder, commanding Confederate forces.


West Point, Va., May 24, 1861 - 5 p. m.

SIR: A person, said to be reliable by the captain of this boat, states that he fled from Hampton last night, and that twenty-five hundred troops had taken possession of it. I have to request tht two lighters, with three hands each, be sent to Jamestown Island as soon as possible, to establish communication with that place and the mainland. At present supplies for Williamsburg have to be carried eight miles, I believe at King's Mills, and of course liable to be seized by the enemy. They can be furnished at once in Richmond and sent down by the daily steamers. I have earnestly to request that a portion of the cavalry already organized should be sent to me at Yorktown or Williamsburg. No reliable information can be attained without them. This steamer

Page 36 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.