Today in History:

238 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 238 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

three or four thousand at Clarksburg, and about two thousand at Cheat Bridge. I have been, so far, wholly unable to get anything like accurate or reliable information as to the numbers, movements, or intentions of the enemy, and begin to believe it almost an impossible thing. The Union men are greatly in the ascendancy here, and are much more zealous and active their cause than the secessionists. The enemy are kept fully advised of our movements, even to the strength or our scouts and pickets, by the country people, while we are compelled to grope in the dark as much as if we were invading a foreign and hostile country.

The Georgia regiment reached me yesterday. I hear nothing definite about the two remaining companies of the Twentieth Regiment, and the four remaining companies of Colonel Fulkerson's. There has elapsed scarcely time for me to hear of the result of my application for two additional companies of cavalry. They are greatly needed here. The maps give very incorrect impressions as to the number of roads in this region of country.

I have heard nothing of the medical stores for my command, nor of porter requisitions made on the Ordnance and Quartermaster's Departments. I hope that they may be urged to fill them as speedily as possible. Many of my men are without blankets or tents. The nights are frequently cold and we have frequent rains.

I shall have the defenses of this place complete in a week. The Buckhannon Pass in naturally much stronger, and the regiment there will be able to hold five times their number in check for a sufficient time to admit of being re-enforced, if they will stand to their work.

At Philippi the enemy occupy the heights beyond the town, in the direction of Grafton. They have mined the bridge and thrown abatis in the ford. It is further said that they have blocked up the road on this side of Philippi. Until I can get some additional cavalry I shall not have adequate means of determining to what extent these reports are true.

This communication is rather lengthy, I fear, for the general to read, but as i do not propose to trouble him often, I have deemed it best to report fully the condition of things under my command.

Two companies of infantry are being organized in Beverly, under Colonel Porterfield, whom I have assigned temporarily to the command of that place. Captain Rice's company is also ordered to from part of his command, after turning over his battery to Captain Anderson. Accessions to my command come in very slowly.

No periodical muster rolls for June 30 have yet arrived, nor any other blank forms. The general's order, in relation to the court of inquiry, had already been anticipated. The proceedings will be forwarded in a day or two. I was aware of the road by Stribling Springs, but it is impossible to cut off all communication with the enemy. The mass of the country people is against us.

I have already addressed several communications to General Cooper, and asked for instructions as to the proper person to address. Be pleased to inform me on this point.

At the end of this month I shall send a return of my force. I am pushing the instruction of the men with all possible activity.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE DEAS,

Asst. Adjt. and Insp. General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.

Page 238 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.