Today in History:

107 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


his battalion, moving by the river road, occupied Seneca Mills, one-half mile north of Lieutenant-Colonel Everett. At the same time Colonel Stiles, moving with his regiment along the upper road, occupied the village of Darnestown, three miles from Jewell. There was but ten minutes' time difference in the occupation of the points designated the three corps moving on different line-one a distance of twenty-five miles; another twenty-two miles; the third nine miles; an exactitude unusual in volunteer troops. The arrival of the troops here was most opportune. The loyal citizens were under most uncomfortable pressure, and doubtless would have had difficulty in casting unbiased votes at the election to-day. The conduct of the men in Rockville has been admirable. Not a compliant has been made to me of depredation on private property, and the soldiers are most kindly received and are very popular with the people.

Yesterday I sent forward Lieutenant Piper, of the artillery, to reconnoiter beyond our positions. He reports the roads good; beef and forage plenty. He reports also that the enemy crossed the river in small force yesterday morning near Edwards Ferry, and attempted to break the canal, but the lock-keeper drew off the water at that point, which satisfied them, and at the same time makes the destruction of the embankments more difficult. Sufficient water can at any time be let in to float out canal-boats in case of our desiring it. We have now secured the canal to within six miles of Edwards Ferry, thus securing water transportation that far at least.

The impression has been produced (by my making reconnaissance and minute inquiries) that I move immediately on Frederick.

The troops of the expedition are now posted as follows; The Eighth Battalion District of Columbia Volunteers, Captain Gerhard, at Tennallytown keeping open communication at Washington and the rear of the three lines of advance. The Fifth Battalion District of Columbia Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Everett, at the aqueduct, on, canal, seven or eight miles from Edwards Ferry, one company of eighty-five of this battalion having been left at Great Falls to watch the ferries. The Second Battalion District of Columbia Volunteers, Major Jewell,at Seneca Mills, three hundred and three strong, one-half mile north of Lieutenant-Colonel Everett. The Ninth Regiment New York troops at Darnestown, three miles north of Major Jewell, a good road connecting the last three-named positions. The First Pennsylvania and First New Hampshire Regiments, Third Battalion (Smead's) District of Columbia Volunteers are encamped here. The section of Griffin's battery and the cavalry are encamped one mile from this, in the direction of Darnestown.

A fine spirit seems to be general in the command, and it is well supplied with everything except medical attendance in the District of Columbia Volunteers. Only one assistant surgeon is present with all the battalions, and he comes simply as a volunteer. No provision has been made for them, although I have long since and repeatedly made the proper representations on the subject. I fear there will be suffering from this deficiency whenever the battalions are separated from the regiments, and in case of action there would be unnecessary loss of life. At present the health of the whole command is good.

Very respectfully, I am, colonel, your most obedient servant,


Colonel Fourteenth Infantry, Commanding Expedition.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army.