Today in History:

902 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 902 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

it, it becomes a question whether these works could be held more than a few days when thus isolated.

I have reconnoitered closely several of the fords on Bull Run and one on Occoquan Run (about three miles from here), which offer strong natural features of defense; but they are so numerous and far apart that only a much larger force than I have here at my command (say not less than from ten to fifteen thousand men) could hope to defend them all against a well-organized enemy of about twenty thousand men, who could select his point of attack. I must therefore either be re-enforced at once, as I have not more than about six thousand effective men, or I must be prepared to retire, on the approach of the enemy, in the direction of Richmond, with the intention of arresting him whenever and whenever the opportunity shall present itself, or I must march to meet him at one said fords, to sell our lives as dearly as practicable. Badly armed and badly equipped as my command is at present, with several of its regiments having but one or two field officers, and having hardly any means of transportation, it would be expecting too much that I could meet with success the Northern foes that are preparing to attack us within a few days with all the advantages of arms, numbers, and discipline. I beg, however, to remark that my troops are not only willing, but are anxious, to meet the enemies of our country under all circumstances.

I remain, dear sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Colonel GARNETT:

SIR: There are now here, at this post, including officers and men, sick and extra duty, about three thousand four hundred. Colonel Ewell has only about four hundred. I shall station at or near Grove Landing two companies, to fall back upon Colonel Ewell's command, and at Blow's Mill, four miles this side of Grove Landing, and on the road to this place also two companies, both infantry. I shall also detach a company of rifles from Hampton to that part of the country, and two companies of cavalry, as I stated yesterday. This will make our force about three thousand here, but will leave Colonel Ewell much exposed. As to calling out the militia, this country is so thinly populated that it cannot be depended on. Colonel Ewell, who is with me now, thinks that it will amount to one hundred and fifty men, all told, and these not effective, and not to be relied on. The reason of this, Colonel Ewell says, is that there are many disaffected men in Elizabeth City an the lower part of York County; many also being obliged to stay at home on account of the occupation of the country by Federal troops. A large accession of force of infantry and artillery ought, therefore, to be made to this command, in order to secure the line from Jamestown Island and to York River-at least four thousand more. Our lines here are very extended. Our outward right flank defenses are nearly completed. We have a breastworks connecting the old English fort with the head of the ravine, which latter is in front of our position. The old fort protects our left. The navy battery has three guns mounted; a fourth will be in position in a day or two. The work itself has been inclosed. I think it labor thrown away upon it, as, if our other positions were carried, we could not find shelter in this inclosed work for one-third of our men. As the plan was arranged before

Page 902 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.