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239 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., July 1, 1861.

General R. S. GARNETT, Commanding Northwestern Army:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 25th instant [ult.], reporting the condition and distribution of your force and your projected plan of operations. i have taken great pleasure in submitting it to the President, and trust you will be able to accomplish your purposes. The rupture of the railroad at Cheat River would be worth to us an army. The companies of the Twentieth and Thirty-seventh Regiments have been forwarded to you; also two companies of cavalry. Another squadron will be furnished if desired. I have ordered Captain G. Jackson to report to you for duty with the cavalry. His commission will entitle him to precedence over of the same grade in the volunteer service. He is a cavalry officer of some experience. Everything that you have required has been sent as far as practicable. The remainder will be forwarded as fast as available. Muster rolls were sent some time since, Your correspondence can be addressed to this office as usual.

Very respectfully,
R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.


Camp at Laurel Hill, Va., July 1, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel GEORGE DEAS,

Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: It is with great reluctance that I feel constrained to call for an addition to my present force, for I know that these calls are coming in upon the Government from all quarters of the State, and from some, perhaps, more immediately threatened than I am, as far as I know; but, with the railroad running across my entire front, I have become satisfied that I cannot operate beyond my present position with any reasonable expectation of substantial success, with the present force under my command, and I deem it my duty to state the fact. My hope of increasing my force in this region has, so far, been sadly disappointed. Only eight men have joined me here, and fifteen at Colonel Heck's camp, not sufficient to make up my losses by discharges, &c. these people are thoroughly imbued with an ignorant and bigoted Union sentiment. Unless success was reduced to a certainty, it would be imprudent to abandon the passes I now hold, yet they cannot be held securely with less than two thousand men, which would reduce my movable force to twenty-five hundred. If the necessities of the Government could afford it, I should be glad to have three or four thousand more men; but I must content myself with asking for as many only as can be spared, in the judgment of the Government.

We hear, though with what truth it is impossible to say, that the enemy is receiving accessions to his force. Twenty-two car loads are reported to have re-enforced the force at Cheat Bridge. This and some other movements of the enemy seem to indicate an intention of getting in my rear from that point by the Saint George road, and this will require another division of my force, or compel me to fall to Leadsville, where that road comes into this; but this operation would lose this position to us. I shall transfer to-day Colonel Heck's regiment to that road, and send five companies, under Colonel Hansborough, to relieve him in his present position, which is a strong one. If necessary, I shall send a regiment from this place to join Colonel Heck. The iron