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916 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 916 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

for thirty miles, upon which there are not less than thirteen fords and ferries. Leesburg, the county seat, is within four miles of the nearest crossing. We are within thirty miles of Washington City, whence we can be approached by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which runs parallel with the Potomac River, and by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the Point of Rocks.

2nd. We are a large wheat and corn growing country, with heavy crops of the former now nearly matured. There are not less than twenty thousand cattle now being grazed in the county, a large proportion of which are fat and ready for market, and at least one thousand of these are upon the flats of the river. This is exclusive of the dairy stock, hogs, sheep, &c. There are large amounts of flour, bacon, and grain of last year's growth. A very important item must not be omitted; that is, a large stock of the finest horses, suited to cavalry and artillery service.

We deem it well worthy of serious consideration that there is a large Union element in Loundoun, and that it is the policy of the Federal administration to intervene in their behalf. In view of these considerations, and of the fact that the Federal papers have frequently spoken of Leesburg as an eligible position for a camp for the Federal forces, by reason of its healthfulness and the productiveness of the surrounding country, we feel it highly important that a force of troops shall be immediately stationed here sufficient to successfully repel invasion, and respectfully beg that you will exert your influence to attain this end.




Richmond, June 10, 1861.


Commanding, &c., Harper's Ferry, Va.:

SIR: The sentiments ascribed to many of the inhabitants of the towns in Virginia on and near the Potomac border may render it important to place them, for a time least, under close surveillance.

I am instructed to state that Mr. James M. Mason, who, from his residence in that quarter of the State and intimate knowledge of its inhabitants, can probably best advise you, has been instructed by the President to indicate to you such points as in his judgment should be placed under such care, and it is the wish of the President that Mr. Mason's suggestions in this regard should be considered by you, and, so far as consistent with your judgment and authority, that you place it in his power to give them effect.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Adjutant and Inspector General.

Richmond, Va., June 10, 1861.

General T. H. HOLMES, Commanding, &c., Fredericksburg, Va.:

GENERAL: It is probable that, realizing the inutility of cannonading the batteries at Aquia Creek with smooth-bore guns, the naval force

Page 916 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.