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116 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 116 OPERATIONS IN MD., AND PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX

received by the inhabitants with the greatest enthusiasm, and questioned with much, earnestness, and anxiety as to when they would be relieved from their present painful position by the presence of United States troops. He made a careful personal examination of the ground in the neighborhood which he found had been occupied in the most absurd manner by the enemy during their recent presence there. He met Captain Newton, Engineer Corps, reconnoitering the position, and gave him for the information of General Patterson, an account of the numbers and positions of the troops composing this expedition. Captain Abert learned from good authority that General Johnston was this morning at Winchester with about 10,000 to 12,000 troops, and that he had broken up his camp, and was preparing for a hasty march to-day in some direction, supposed to be Cumberland.

I had an interview at Point of Rocks with a man just from Leesburg, who informed me that he saw about 950 South Carolina troops arrive at Leesburg last night. This would make the force there about 1,600 with supporting troops nine miles off.

The enemy destroyed to-day a large number of locomotive belonging to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, together with a train of cars, said to be more than half a mile long. General Johnston might reach Leesburg by to-morrow afternoon, and either attempt the passage of the river or move towards Arlington. Should he come to Leesburg, my impression is that it will be with a view to make a demonstration on General McDowell's right. In my opinion the Point of Rocks and Sandy Hook should be immediately occupied; the first, because it is now used as a crossing place to and from Virginia; the second, because of the justly-founded alarm pervading the community, and the right of those loyal citizens who have faithfully stood by the flag under circumstances of difficulty and danger to protection at the first moment possible.

Had I one regiment more, and more artillery, I should occupy Sandy Hook to-morrow, and should I find that the enemy neglect my positions, I shall certainly occupy the Point of Rocks, for the purpose above indicated and also for securing my right flank.

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


Colonel Fourteenth Infantry, Commanding.

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters of the Army.

POOLESVILLE, June 25, 1861.

COLONEL: From informers, and what can be seen from our positions, I feel assured that there has been a considerable increase of force in Leesburg and its vicinity. Yesterday morning General Johnston was at Winchester, as reported by me last night, and some of his forces may be those which have been seen this morning opposite us. I believe some have passed south of Goose Creek in the direction of Arlington, but there were undoubtedly nearly one thousand South Carolina troops opposite us yesterday.

The destruction of locomotives and railroad cars noticed in my letter of last night took place at Martinsburg. The number of locomotives is said to be thirty-five, and the line of cars was said to be more than half a mile long.

An eye-witness reported General Johnston's force at Winchester to

Page 116 OPERATIONS IN MD., AND PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX