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70 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 70 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.


Staunton, Va., June 6, 1861.


Commanding Virginia Forces, Beverly, Va.:

COLONEL: I send you a supply of ammunition by Messrs. Trotter and Crawford, an account of which is herewith inclosed.

To-morrow I shall send you a field battery, accompanied by cavalry and infantry, which will be joined by other troops on the way, and the whole force will report to you at Beverly. On the day following, from two to three thousand troops will be sent to you by President Davis from Richmond. I have received a telegraphic dispatch from the commanderin-chief our army, saying. "Send a messenger to Colonel Porterfield to be valiant and maintain his ground until relief reaches him. Send him supplies, if he wants them."

Having received no official communication from you, but learning from private sources, since the disaster to our arms at Philippi, that you are almost without ammunition, I have determined to send you a supply by express. I inclose duplicate receipts for the munitions sent, which you will please sign and return to me. Please keep in daily communication with me by couriers until relief reaches you. Very respectfully,


Major, Commanding.

Numbers 5. Reports of Colonel George A. Porterfield, Virginia Volunteers, and reply of General Lee.

Huttonsville, Va., June 9, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to address you as regards the state of my command. The force here now numbers about one thousand, of which one hundred and eighty are cavalry and the balance infantry. This force is not only deficient in drill, but ignorant, both officers and men, of the most ordinary duties of the soldier. With efficient drill officers they might be made effective; but I have to complain that the field officers sent to command these men are of no assistance to me, and are, for the most part, as ignorant of their duties as the company officers, and they as ignorant as the men. I hope, if I am continued in command, that good staff officers may be sent, to aid in organizing this raw force, than which there is none more so now in the service. I have not been able to even get proper returns made out to send to your headquarters, and my own reputation has been injured by the character of my command; in fact, if it had been intended to sacrifice me, I could not have expected less support than had. Of its expected that the troops here should take the field effective, it is necessary that at least five thousand well-drilled men should be sent at once, as the enemy's army is being daily re-enforced, and if aids is not soon aid is not soon sent, it will be impossible to keep the open field, even as a mere corps of observation, but will have to retire to the mountains, where it will be most difficult, if not impossible, to provision even this small force. I have been reliable in

Page 70 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.