Today in History:

985 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


road as near to the enemy as may be safe, to watch his movements, to intercept marauding parties, and the riflemen, who are familiar with the county, to annoy the enemy from the hills and bushes. This rifle corps, some eighty strong, are the picked men of one hundred and eighty militia who reported for duty; but who, on account of the state of their crops, were exceedingly reluctant to leave home. I offered, upon condition that they would make up this company well armed and provided for, to allow the others to go home for the purpose of reaping the crops of all. This proposition was cheerfully acceded to, and I am really in hopes that an efficient corps had been thus put in the field.

Should this force be deemed sufficient to hold for the present the turnpike pass in the Alleghany Mountains, our entire attention may be directed to the Huttonsville and Huntersville road.

Unless some point can be held upon it with a view to resisting the advance of the enemy, the entire country in that direction will be thrown open and our rear protected alone by the distance over which his column must pass. The people in that region, who are supposed generally to be loyal, are naturally alarmed and calling for protection. I inclose herewith the copy of a note received late last night from a gentleman of high character and great influence, as I understand; relating to that subject.

It is hardly necessary to add that, with but two regiments which have not been seriously demoralized by the disasters of the late conflicts with the enemy, the force here is altogether too weak for the necessities of the time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-If it be proposed to defend the pass into Pocahontas over the Elk Mountain, it would be most practicable to send troops to the Milliborough Station on the railroad, as the distance over which wagon transportation must be made would be much less.

RICHMOND, July 20, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Manassas Junction, Va.:

GENERAL: You are a general in the Confederate Army, possessed of the power attaching to that rank. You will know how to make the east knowledge of Brigadier-General Beauregard, as well of the ground as of the troops and preparation, avail for the success of the object in which you co-operate. The zeal of both assures me of harmonious action.


RICHMOND, July 20, 1861.

Major H. L. CLAY, Lynchburg, Va.:

Push forward to Manassas all armed regiments immediately on their arrival at Lynchburg. Acknowledge by telegraph, and state when Barksdale's Mississippi regiment left Lynchburg for Manassas under my telegraph order to you of the 18th. Keep me daily advised by telegraph of arrival of troops at Lynchburg and their departure.


Adjutant and Inspector-General.