Today in History:

971 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


or mules, to enable me to advance with them, and to carry them off in case the force here should be compelled to fall back. I should be mortified to lose them, but could not help it if the means were wanting to remove them. I know the men can carry off some of them, but cannot depend upon such means for any distance. It is proper to prepare for advancing, for defending, and for retreating. Should we fail here, these guns would or might be waned in Richmond. We may not fail, but I am of opinion have a long war before us, and cannot afford to lose any material.

The work contemplated at Mulberry Island, if that point is geographically situated as represented, would be of the greatest, importance in defending this place and Richmond. If the enemy was forced, by such a work, to march up the Peninsula, there are several lines which would at once be fortified, where he would meet with very rough treatment or be repulsed. I think he would be entirely defeated. At present, and without this work, these lines can easily be turned, and landing made above them on James River. If it be decided to fortify at Mulberry Island, no time should be lost, and I would like to be informed of it, in order that I might give my attention to the lines spoken of.

I know the immense demands necessarily made on the resources of the country, and sincerely sympathize with those who desire (as I believe all do) to grant what is asked, but have not the power. Yet in justice to the common good, as well as to myself, I am constrained to add to these demands.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSBURG, VA., July 10, 1861.

General J. B. MAGRUDER, Commanding Department:

SIR: In accordance with your instructions, we have the honor to submit the following report on the number of guns required for the defenses in the vicinity of Williamsburg:

The number of guns on hand at this place is two 12-pounders, in working order, with ammunition; eight 6-pounders, in working order, with ammunition; two 6-pounders, to be mounted in a few days. For the works now in course of construction at a minimum armament of two guns to each redoubt, there are required, in addition, eight pieces (12 or 24 pounder howitzers) for redoubts, and three heavy 8-inch columbiads or 9-inch Dahlgren navy guns for shore defense, viz, two at Spratley's and one near Grove Wharf. Of the eight light pieces required, it is very desirable that four should constitute a mounted battery to be used in operating at favorable points beyond the works and to prevent a landing on the shore in the vicinity. Besides, it would be indispensable to protect any retreat that might be necessary to be made.


Captain of Engineers.


Captain of Engineers.