Today in History:

69 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 69 Chapter IX. ACTION AT PHILIPPI, W. PA.

The expedition under Colonel heck leaves here on Friday for the Northwest. We urge you will send by express train two thousand men, with arms and ammunition, to drive the vandals out, or else give up our border. These gentlemen were in the engagement; say Colonel Porterfield had but little ammunition of any kind. Send an officer of experience to command our forces, or a battery and five thousand arms, if possible.

M. B. HARMAN, Major.

J. M. HECK, Colonel.

R. E. COWAN, Major.

Governor LETCHER or General R. E. LEE.

Numbers 4. Report of Major M. G. Harman, Virginia Volunteers.

Staunton, Va., June 6, 1861.

SIR: Inclosed is a copy of a letter that I have written to Colonel Peterfield, at Beverly. From this you will perceive that, while I have received no communication from. Colonel Porterfield informing me of the wants of his command, learning of their great need of supplies of ammunition from private sources, I have dispatched an express to him with a supply. From all the information that I have received I am pained to have the express my conviction that Colonel Peterfield is entirely unequal the he occupies. The affair at Philippi was a disgraceful surprise, occurring about daylight, there being no picket guard or guard of any kind on duty. The only wonder is that our men were not cut to pieces. They were all asleep, and were only aroused by the firing of the enemy. the safety of the Northwest and of our inexperienced soldiers depends upon an immediate change of commanders, and giving the command to a bold an experienced leader.

I start in the morning the expedition under Lieutenant-Colonel Heck, under escort of two companies of cavalry, three companies of infantry, and one artillery company, with a battery, if the Tennessee company arrives. I send a large supply of provisions, fifteenth hundred muskets, clothing, and all the ammunition that I can raise. I have arranged to concentrate the militia on the route, which will join Colonel Heck, and will be armed by him as they come in. I have the arrangements in progress to start promptly the detachment, which, I am informed, will be sent up on Saturday to this point. We are sadly in want of ammunition, our whole supply being exhausted by this exhausted by this expedition. I hope you will have a sufficient supply forwarded as early as possible to this point.

I would again urge rapid re-enforcements to regain possession of the Northwest, and that I shall receive authority from you to call out and arm the companies from all the valley counties, and send them to that quarter, instead of their going, as heretofore directed, to their different rendezvous. Send up five thousand flint-lock muskets from Richmond and I will have them overhauled and put in order for use. We shall need these in addition to what we have.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding.

Major General R. E. LEE, Richmond, Va.

Page 69 Chapter IX. ACTION AT PHILIPPI, W. PA.