Today in History:

947 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


Manassas Junction, Va., June 23, 1861.

Honorable L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department that, in consequence of the large re-enforcements I have lately received, I have divided my forces into six brigades, as per inclosed statement,* and commenced a forward movement to protect my advanced position at Centerville, Fairfax Court-House, and Sangster's Cross-Roads, and also to be within striking distance of the enemy, whose advance positions seem to be at and to the rear of Falls Church (seven miles from Alexandria), where they have five regiments (First and Second Connecticut, First and Second Ohio, and Sixty-ninth New York), one troop of cavalry, and one light battery. They have also four companies at Annandale.

My advanced forces (three brigades of three regiments each) occupy the triangle represented by Mitchell's Ford (Bull Run), one regiment; Centerville and a point half way to Germatown, one brigade; Germantown Fairfax Court-House, one brigade; at the crossing of Braddock's old road with the Fairfax Station roads, one regiment; at the latter station, one regiment and one battalion, and at Sangster's Cross-Roads, one battalion. All these positions are in easy and short communication with each other and with these headquarters. Most of my cavalry is with the advance, scouting, reconnoitering, &c. One light battery is at Fairfax Court-House with General Bonham's brigade, and another is to be sent to Centerville to act with Colonel Cocke's brigade. I unfortunately have none to spare for my other brigades. I have thrown eight miles in advance of the latter town or village one battalion of infantry and two companies of cavalry to observe the country towards the Potomac and the movements of the enemy in that direction. As already reported to the Department, one regiment (Sloan's South Carolina) has been ordered to Leesburg, to assist Colonel E. Hunton in the defense of that important position. I regret much my inability to send him some artillery.

I must call the attention of the Department to the great deficiency of my command in ammunition, not averaging more than twenty rounds in all per man. If I were provided with the necessary materials, molds, &c., I think I could establish here a cartridge manufactory which could supply all our wants in that respect. Could not a similar arrangement be made at all hospital depots, State arsenals, penitentiaries, &c.? To go into battle each soldier ought to be provided with at least forty rounds of cartridges, and not less than sixty rounds in reserve.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Richmond, Va., June 24, 1861.

Brigadier General R. S. GARNETT,

Commanding, &c., Laurel Hill, via Beverly, Va.

GENERAL: Your letters of the 18th and 20th instant, addressed to General S. Cooper, have been received. Two companies of cavalry from Ashland, Captains Smith and Flournoy, the same selected by yourself when here, have been ordered to report to you without delay. All the


* See General Orders, No. 20, p. 943.