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928 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 928 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

section. Arrangements were made for calling out the volunteers from the western section at the same time and in the same manner as from the eastern section, but as yet it has been feebly responded to.

Complete returns from the troops in the field have not, and, from the nature of things, cannot for some time be received; but, from the best source or information within our reach, the number of Virginia troops is about 35,000. This amount probably falls below the real number, for, referring to the report of the Colonel of Ordnance, it will be seen that he has issued 2,054 rifles and carbines and 41, 604 muskets, in addition to pistols and sabers to the cavalry. Thirteen thousand arms have also been issued from Lexington, making a total of 56, 658. Seven thousand of those from Lexington, and several thousand from the arsenal at Richmond have been issued to troops from other States; but as many of the Virginia companies, supposed to be about 5,000 men, were armed and equipped when received into the service of the State, should the number of unarmed companies from other States not differ materially from the number of armed companies of the State, the number of Virginia troops in the field may be assumed to be about 40,000. When it is remembered that this body of men were called from a state of profound peace to one of unexpected war, you will have reason to commend the alacrity with they left their homes and families and prepared themselves for the defense of the State. The assembling of men, however, was not the most difficult operation. Provision for their instruction, subsistence, equipment, clothing, shelter, and transportation in the field required more time and labor. Ammunition of every kind had to be manufactured. The carriages of the guns for river, land, and field service had to be made, with the necessary implements, caisson, battery wagons, &c. One hundred and fifteen guns for field service have thus been provided, from which twenty light batteries, of four guns each, have been furnished, with the requisite horses, harness, &c.

For the defense of James River, two batteries and two steamers have been provided, mounting, altogether, forty guns, ranging in caliber from 32-pounders to 8 and 9 inch columbiads. Arrangements are also in process for mounting sixty guns, of different weights, on the defenses around Richmond, and a naval battery of 6 to 12 pounder howitzers is in process organization.

On York River three batteries have been constructed, mounting thirty guns, of caliber similar to the guns on James River.

Sites for batteries on the Potomac have also been selected, and arrangements were in progress for their construction; but the entire command of that river being in the possession of the United States Government, a larger force is required for their security than could be devoted to that purpose. The batteries at Aquia Creek have only been prepared. Twelve guns are in position there.

On the Rappahannock River a four-gun battery of 32-pounders and 8-inch columbiads has been erected.

Six batteries have been erected on the Elizabeth River, to guard the approaches to Norfolk and the navy-yard. They mount eighty-five guns, 32-pounders and 8 and 9 inch columbiads.

To prevent the ascent of the Nansemond River and the occupation of the railroad from Norfolk to Richmond, three batteries have been constructed on that river, which will mount nineteen guns.

The frigate United States has been prepared for a school-ship, provided with a deck battery of nineteen guns, 32-pounders and 9-inch columbiads, for harbor defense. The frigate Merrimac has been raised

Page 928 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.