Today in History:

109 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


artillery on the south side of Goose Creek, about two hundred yards south of the ferry landing.

If I become satisfied that Harper's Ferry has been evacuated, and that a general retreat has been made, via Winchester, I shall cross the river by the upper ferry and ford, capture the force, whatever it may be, at the lower ferry, occupy Leesburg, and open means of communication, as rapidly as possible with General Patterson on the hand and General McDowell on the other, taking especial care to restore, as rapidly as practicable, the transportation routes on both sides of the river down. The canal on this side will require but a handful of men, and should General Patterson be in possession of Harper's Ferry, the whole canal from that point to Washington can be put in working order in one day.

I am just sending out an officer to inspect the canal above, and I think that water can be thrown into it a few miles north of this, which would relieve all this part of the State from the great inconvenience which now exists in getting supplies to and from Washington or other markets. Great convenience would also result to the Government in forwarding supplies along the river. Should such work interfere with the main objects of the expedition, it will not, of course, be attempted.

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.

POOLESVILLE, June 16, 1861-2 1/2 p.m.

COLONEL: The enemy have appeared opposite the two ferries in force, probably part of the late Harper's Ferry force, and dispute our passage towards Leesburg. They are throwing up a battery on the road between Edwards Ferry and Leesburg. Lieutenant Abert is reconnoitering along the river above their upper position. Captain Magruder is doing the same up the Monocacy road. My weakness for attack is want of artillery. Had I a full battery the approaches might be guarded by part to advantage, while another portion could be used in turning them. My impression is that these are Harper's Ferry troops, but that their main body has taken the road to Manassas Junction.

Very respectfully, colonel, your most obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

POOLESVILLE, June 17, 1861- 4 1/2 p.m.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the enemy opened fire on the guard at Conrad's Ferry (five miles above Edwards Ferry) this morning about 10 o' clock. The point was and is occupied on our side by five companies of the New Hampshire First Infantry. The enemy were reported to have three cannon, but in a careful examination I was unable to discover more than one 6-pounder field piece. They amused themselves by firing some twenty shots, apparently at the staff on which the New Hampshire troops had raised the national colors. No damage whatever was done to our men by the firing, and it appeared so object-