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was sent him that day; that he could get 20,000 men


from Mississippi, if they could be armed, and that he had
numerous tenders of troops from Georgia, but he had to
answer all that he had no arms to spare them.

The lower valley of the Shenandoah (the northeastern
part of Virginia's unfailing storehouse for supplying
Confederate armies) furnished Johnston an abundant sup-
ply of provisions and forage, which the people, staunchly
loyal, were willing to sell to his quartermasters and com-
missaries on credit, so he had no need for subsistence
supplies from Richmond, except rations of coffee and
sugar. He wrote that under the management of Maj.
G. W. T. Kearsley, his chief commissary, the valley
could have abundantly supplied an army four times as
large as his. The great difficulty was to procure ammu-
nition, as but little had been imported and the partially
organized Confederate ordnance department had neither
time nor means to prepare the half that was needed.
The small supply brought from Harper's Ferry was in-
creased by some from Richmond and by sending officers
elsewhere to collect caps as well as cartridges.

On the isth of July, Stuart reported that Patterson's
army had advanced from Martinsburg to Bunker Hill,
where it remained the next day ; but on the 17th it moved
from that village and the Winchester road, by its left, to
Smithfield, a few miles on the turnpike road to Charles-
town. This suggested to Johnston that the Federal com-
mander designed to continue his movement on through
Berryville, to place his army between the Confederates
, at Winchester and those at Manassas Junction, to hold
Johnston in the valley while McDowell was assailing
Beauregard; or, perhaps, to attack Winchester from the
south and turn its slight intrenchments.

After the Confederate army retired from Darkesville
toward Winchester, the Thirty-third Virginia, under
Col. A. C. Cummings, was added to Jackson's brigade;
the Sixth North Carolina to Bee's; the Eleventh Georgia
to Bartow's, the Ninth Georgia having joined that bri-
gade soon after the troops left Winchester ; and a fifth
brigade was formed, for Brig. -Gen. E. Kirby Smith, of
the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Alabama and
the Nineteenth Mississippi regiments, and Stanard's
Virginia battery. At that time the effective strength of
the regiments in the army of the Shenandoah did not
much exceed 500 men each, so many were sick with


measles, mumps, and other diseases to which unseasoned
troops are subject.

About I a. m., July i8th, Johnston received a telegram
from Adjutant-General Cooper informing him that Beau-
regard was attacked, and that to strike the enemy a deci-
sive blow a junction of all their effective forces was need-
ed ; and directing him, if it was practicable to make the
movement, to send his sick and baggage across to Cul-
peper Court House, but, in all arrangements, to exercise
his own discretion. A half hour later, a telegram from
Beauregard informed Johnston of his urgent need for the
aid he had promised him in the emergency now arrived.
Confident that the troops under his command could ren-
der no service in the valley so important to the Confed-
eracy as preventing a Federal victory at Manassas Junc-
tion, Johnston unhesitatingly decided to hasten to that
point with his whole army, the only question being
whether to first attempt to defeat Patterson, or, by a
secret movement, elude him. The latter course he con-
sidered the quickest and safest, if it could be accom-
plished. He relied on Stuart to furnish him the means
of judging whether this could be done, while his troops
were preparing to march. The Federal cavalry, chiefly
regulars, had the advantage in arms and discipline, but
kept close to the infantry ; Stuart, on the contrary, held
his men far in advance of the Confederate infantry camps
and kept his pickets and scouts near the enemy, and by so
doing could quickly learn of their movements, at the same
time concealing his own. His report to Johnston showed
that at 9 o'clock of the i8th, Patterson had not advanced
from Smithfield, a point so far from Johnston's road to
Manassas that Patterson could neither prevent nor delay
his march. Stuart's information proved the expediency
of moving as soon as possible.

Johnston had, at that time, at Winchester, some 1,700
sick men. If he waited to remove these to Culpeper
Court House, it would cause a delay of days when hours
were of importance. Therefore he provided for these in
Winchester, leaving for their defense the militia brigades
of Carson and Meem, which were quite strong enough to
defend the place and the district. Moreover, there was
no doubt but that Patterson would follow, with his main
body, the movement to Manassas, as soon as he discov-
ered it; but to delay that discovery, Stuart was instructed


to establish as complete a cordon as his regiment could
make, and as near as practicable to the Federal army, to
prevent information reaching it from the direction of
Winchester or Berryville ; to maintain his close picket-
ing until the night of the i8th, and then follow the army
through Ashby's gap. Stuart screened this movement
of Johnston's whole army from the valley so effectually
that Patterson did not know that it had been made until
the 2ist, when the army of the Shenandoah was bravely
participating in the battle of Bull Run.

Johnston's troops left their camp at Winchester about
noon, June i8th, Jackson's brigade leading the march.
When the rear of the command was a mile or two beyond
Winchester, all the different regiments were at the same
time informed of the object of the movement and the
necessity for a forced march, and exhorted to strive to
reach the field of contention in time to take part in the
great battle that had already begun. Johnston, accus-
tomed to the steady gait of regular soldiers, was greatly
discouraged by the slow rate of marching of the volun-
teers and the frequent delays, and nearly despaired of
reaching Beauregard in time to aid him in battle.
This induced him to dispatch Major Whiting, of the engi-
neers, to Piedmont station of the Manassas Gap railroad,
the nearest one on his line of inarch through Ashby's
gap, to ascertain whether railway trains could be pro-
cured for transporting his troops to their destination
quicker than they could reach it by marching, and if these
trains could be secured, to make the necessary transpor-
tation arrangements. Whiting, in returning, met John-
ston at Paris, a hamlet near the top of the Blue ridge,
with a favorable report. The head of Jackson's brigade
reached Paris, 17 miles from Winchester, about two
hours after dark. The four other brigades halted for
the night on the Shenandoah, 4 miles back from Paris
and 13 from Winchester. The next day, Friday, July
19th, Johnston's infantry were all across the Blue ridge,
as were also his artillery and cavalry; under Colonels
Pendleton and Stuart, and all on their way eager to reach
the field of conflict.

After the affair at Falling Waters, Patterson, as we
have seen, did not enter Martinsburg until the 3d; and,
though he informed Scott that day that he was in "hot
pursuit" of the enemy, he remained there until the isth.


giving as excuse that he had not transportation enough
to supply his army for more than three days at a time,
and as he could get nothing from the country he had
invaded, while the enemy could, he was compelled to
send back to Hagerstown for all his subsistence. He
was also under the impression that Johnston's army had
been increased to 13,000 men. On the 4th, he wired that
as soon as he could get a supply of provisions he intended
to advance on Winchester, "to drive the enemy from that
place, if any remained," and then move toward Charles-
town, to which point he believed Stone was advancing
from toward Washington, by way of Harper's Ferry;
and then, if it was not too hazardous, he would continue
to Leesburg, but unless he was reinforced with long term
men, he would have to abandon the country, as the time
of most of his army was about to expire, on the 15th of

Scott, who had on the ist informed Patterson that he
hoped to move a column of 35,000 men the next week,
aggressively, toward Manassas Junction, promised rein-
forcements and said that Stone was in supporting dis-
tance, with all his force, opposite Harper's Ferry. He
suggested that after defeating the enemy, Patterson
could continue the pursuit, if not too hazardous, and
advance toward Alexandria by way of Leesburg, but
must move with great caution through the dangerous
defiles. Patterson replied that large reinforcements had
come from Manassas to Johnston, who probably then
had "26,000 men and 24 field guns, some of them rifled
and of large caliber. ' '

Patterson must have been greatly confused by Scott's
unintelligible orders, directing movements to Alexandria
by way of Strasburg, etc., but, stimulated by the arrival
of reinforcements and the prospect of more, he issued
orders on the 8th for a movement the next day, in two
parallel columns, toward Winchester; but instead of
marching he called a council of war, participated in by
the heads of his staff departments and his brigade com-
manders, in which there was a general concurrence of
expressed opinions, that it would be a very dangerous
business to move toward Winchester, each having a pro-
fessional reason for his conclusions; the quartermaster
and the commissary saying they could get neither sufficient
transportation nor supplies for such an extended move-


ment ; the engineers considering the line of the movement
a false one, and the position then held a dangerous one, as
Johnston could easily flank it, and all agreed that they
ought to go at once to Shepherdstown, Charlestown, or
Harper's Ferry. Stone suggested that from the latter
place they could best threaten Johnston.

Later, the same day, Scott added to Patterson's distrac-
tions by telling him that they had information, doubtless
reliable, that the Confederates intended to draw him far
back from the Potomac, where Johnston could defeat
him, when the latter would join Wise, and moving upon
McClellan, in the northwest, conquer him; and then
their joint forces would march back and join Beauregard
in an assault upon Washington. Concerning this mar-
velous scheme, Patterson replied, on the 12th, that it
confirmed his impression as to the insecurity of his posi-
tion, and he asked permission to transfer his depot to
.Harper's Ferry and his forces to the Charlestown line,
as defeat in the Shenandoah valley would be ruin every-
" where. Scott at once gave his consent, suggesting that
later he could march to Alexandria, by way of Hillsboro
and Leesburg, but that he must not recross the Potomac.

The news of McClellan 's success at Rich mountain, on
the 12th, elated Patterson, but he maintained that his
column was the keystone of the combined movements,
and it must be preserved in order to secure the fruits of
that and other victories ; that it would not do to hazard
that result by a defeat, and he would act cautiously
while preparing to strike. Scott promptly replied that
if he was not strong enough to defeat Johnston the com-
ing week, he must make demonstrations to detain him in
the valley.

After having tarried twelve days at Martinsburg, in his
<'hot pursuit" of Jc*inston, Patterson, on the 15th, ad-
vanced 12 miles to Bunker Hill, only opposed by Stuart's
cavalry (he said some 600), which fell back, skirmishing
with his advance, and barricading the road laehind them,
which Patterson interpreted as "showing that the enemy
had no confidence even in their large force. ' ' The day
after he reached Bunker Hill, Patterson, realizing that his
ninety days' race with time was about up, and that the pros-
pect of having Johnston's army as a prize had vanished,
informed Scott that the term of service of most of his
command had about expired, and he felt confident that


many of these would lay down their arms the very day
their term of enlistment ended ; therefore, he could not
think of advancing toward Winchester until these men
were replaced with three years' men. On July 17th he
began his retrograde movement (the newspapers called it
an advance) by leaving the Winchester road, crossing
'. the Opequan, and posting his army along the road from
, Smithfield to Charlestown. Scott telegraphed him that ^
he had learned, through the Philadelphia papers, of his
"advance," and added: "Do not let the enemy amuse
you and delay you with a small force in front while he
reinforces the junction with his main body. ' ' Next day
Scott repeated his injunction :

I have certainly been expecting you to beat the enemy. If not, to
hear that you had felt him strongly, or, at least, had occupied him
by threats and demonstrations. You have been at least his equal,
and, I suppose, his superior in numbers. Has he not stolen a march
and sent reinforcements toward Manassas Junction? A week is
enough to win victories. The time of the volunteers counts from
day of muster into the service of the United States. You must not
retreat across the Potomac. If necessary, when abandoned by the
short term volunteers, intrench somewhere and wait for reinforce-

Three times on that same i8th of July, while John- ,
ston's army was rapidly marching from the valley toward
Manassas, Patterson telegraphed Scott, insisting that the
enemy had not stolen a march on him ; that he had held
Johnston in Winchester and accomplished more than
Scott had asked or could well have expected in the face
of an enemy of superior numbers. The determination
of his three months' men to go home still troubled him,
and on the 19th, he said that only three regiments had iL
consented to stay for ten days, and repeated that from his
last information, Johnston was still at Winchester and
being daily reinforced. That day, Wfuly 19th, Patterson ,
was honorably discharged from the service of the United,
States, to take efEect on the 27th, and Maj.-Gen. N. P. •
Banks was directed to assume command of the army under ,
Patterson, and of the department of the Shenandoah.

From Harper's Ferry, on the 21st, Patterson reported
that Winchester was abandoned the day before by all
armed parties; that Johnston had left to operate on
McDowell's right, and that he could not follow because
he had but few active troops, all the others being bare-
footed and ordered home when their term of service
should expire.


Patterson, on the 23d, was sending his train across the-
river at Harper's Ferry, intending to go to Washington
with all his available force unless ordered to the contrary -^
but Scott advised him that this force was not wanted at.
Washington, but "it is expected you will hold Harper's-
Ferry unless threatened by a force well ascertained to be
competent to expel you." Patterson replied that he
considered the occupation of Harper's Ferry, with his-
small force, as hazardous, and that not less than 20,000
men were needed to hold it against a formidable enemy.
The Shenandoah valley campaign of 1861 — three
months long, to a day — though marked by no brilliant
achievements, was full of substantial advantage to the
Confederacy, (i) The capture of the arsenal and armo-
vries at Harper's Ferry gave it a large number of arms,
when most needed, and the machinery for their continu-
ous manufacture, worth millions of dollars. (2) The
, few days of militia rule and service showed that not much,
dependence could be placed in that State organization.
(3) Jackson's twenty-five days of command at Harper's.
. Ferry organized into regiments and brought under con-
trol and military discipline a large number of volunteers,
and enabled him to become so familiar with that post and.
its surroundings that he kinew just how to capture it
when ordered so to do in the fall of 1862. (4) John-
ston's defiant holding of Harper's Ferry, until the 15th
• of June, kept Scott in a constant state of alarm for the
safety of Washington, held a large number of troops in
observation in Maryland, and deprived the Federal capital.
' of the use of its best line of communication with the
< West, (s) Johnston's prompt and bold action in send-
. ing Hill to Romney, the quick move of the latter on New
creek, and Johnston's evacuation of Harper's Ferry,
' June isth, without waiting for orders, and at once plac-
X, ing his army across Patterson's line of advance, not only
inspired courage in his men and confidence in their
leader, but disconcerted Patterson and made him with-
' draw his invasion. (6) The conduct of Stuart and Jack-
son at Falling Waters gave satisfying promise of heroic
' leadership and made men eager to follow them into mor-
tal combat; and Johnston's all night march and four days'
' offer of battle, which orders from Richmond alone pre-
vented his forcing, assured the army of the Shenandoah
that it had an everyway competent commander. (7) The


taking of a mount of observation at Winchester, the
quick response to Beauregard's call, the telling his
men of the object of his movement, and the complete
concealment of that from Patterson, crowned the confi-
dence of his soldiery in their bold commander, and made
them ready to follow wherever he might lead. (8)
Above all, it was a training school, under the ablest of
tacticians and strategists, which almost made veterans
out of raw troops and fitted them for the good fight they
so soon joined in, on Bull run.


TO JULY, 1861.

OF the four columns of Federal invasion in 1861, by
which Scott and Lincoln expected to overrun and
subjugate Virginia in ninety days, the third, that
from Washington toward Richmond, was the most
important, as it had for its object, not only a direct move-
ment upon the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy,
but also the protection of the Federal capital; further-
more, it was under the special supervision of the general-
in-chief of the United States army, Lieut. -Gen. Winfield
Scott. The important result of the operations of that
line of invasion was the famous Bull Run, or Manassas,
campaign of 1861. The events leading up to this require
at least a brief notice.

President Buchanan, alarmed by the action of the
Southern States and by the excitement throughout the
Union that followed the election of Lincoln, called Scott,
from the headquarters of the army in New York, to
Washington, and on the last day of i860 conferred with
him in reference to the protection of that city and of the
coming inauguration of Lincoln, both of which, he was
led to believe, were threatened with violence. As the
result of this, Col. Charles P. Stone was appointed in-
spector-general for the special purpose of reorganizing
and arming the volunteer militia companies of the Dis-
trict of Columbia, in such a way as to secure their loyalty
to the Union, in the belief that these would furnish all
the military protection Washington then needed. This
work was thoroughly done, and these citizen soldiery
served as guards in the city and at the inauguration of
President Lincoln, on the 4th of March, i86i; and sixteen
companies of them, organized into battalions, were mus-
tered into the service of the United States, about the 12th
of April, when Fort Sumter was fired on, and became
the nucleus for the great volunteer army.that later assem-



bled at Washington in response to Lincoln's call of April

The first State troops to reach Washington after Lin-
coln's call was the Sixth Massachusetts, which was
attacked in passing through the streets of Baltimore, on
the 19th of April, by unorganized citizens, but reached
Washington late that day and was encamped in the Capi-
tol. After the passage of these troops, the railways from
Baltimore north to Harrisburg and east to Philadelphia
were broken in consequence of the destruction of bridges
by Southern sympathizers, and were not again opened for
travel until the 7th of May ; but in the meantime, troops
in large numbers were brought to Washington from the
North and the West by steamers from Perr3rville, on the
Susquehanna, on the road to Philadelphia, down the ba3r
to Annapolis, and thence by rail across to Washington,
and also around the coast to Chesapeake bay, and up that
and the Potomac, so that quite an army was gathered in
that city when Col. J. K. Mansfield tdok command of it
on the 27th of April. Steps were taken to guard the
bridges from Virginia and all other approaches, Lincoln on
the same day calling for twenty-five regiments of regulars
in addition to the 75,000 three-months' men previously-

On the 25th of April, the Confederates planted batter-
ies on Arlington heights, and placed guards in Alexan-
dria and along the Potomac above and below Washington.
On the 28th, Federal troops guarded the northern, and
Confederate troops the southern, end of the long bridge ;
but on the 30th, General Lee ordered the withdrawal of all
troops between the long bridge and Alexandria, to avoid
provoking a collision for which he was unprepared. On
the 5 th of May, the Confederate forces in Alexandria,
some 500 in number, including 70 cavalry, under Lieut. -
Col. A. S. Taylor, alarmed by a rumored attack, evacu-
ated Alexandria, without orders, and fell back to Spring-
field. General Cocke, in command along the Potomac,
from his headquarters at Culpeper promptly ordered
them back. On the 9th two Virginia regiments of infan-
try were ordered to Cocke, and on that day he located
his headquarters at Manassas Junction and began the
gathering of troops at that point, establishing connec-
tions with Col. Daniel Ruggles, in command at Freder-
icksburg with his advance at Aquia creek on the Potomac,.


and strengthening Leesburg, under command of Colonel
Hunton, with several regiments of infantry and compa-
nies of cavalry and artillery, to protect that place, the
line of the railway to Alexandria, and watch the fords of
the Potomac. On the 12th, Federal gunboats in the
Potomac were brought up in front of Alexandria. On
the 21st of May, Brig. -Gen. M. L. Bonham was put in
command of the Alexandria line, and established his
headquarters at Manassas Junction. Troops from all
-portions of the South were ordered forward to that
place, which, it was rumored, was threatened with early

On May 24th, the day after the citizens of Virginia
approved her ordinance of secession, about a dozen regi-
ments of Federal infantry, with cavalry and artillery, at
2 a. m. crossed the Potomac by the aqueduct and the long
bridge, and by steamer at Alexandria, and took posses-
sion of Arlington heights, Alexandria and the interme-
diate front of the Potomac, driving out the Confederates,
some 500 men, from Alexandria, at half -past four, and
■capturing Ball's company of cavalry. The Confederates
fell back to Manassas and the Federals at once began
fortifying their front, after advancing their pickets sev-
eral miles on the roads leading into Virginia. The sup-
position of Colonel Terrett, who evacuated Alexandria,
was that the Federals proposed to advance toward Lees-
burg. The next day Bonham reported to Lee that he
then had at Manassas Junction but 500 infantry, four
pieces of artillery and one troop of cavalry.

Before the opening of the Manassas campaign there
"were a number of minor affairs, of which a condensed
account may be here given :

On May 21st, and again on June ist, two armed steamers attacked
the Confederate battery established at Aquia creek on the Potomac,
but without doing much damage. Colonel Ruggles promptly moved
700 men across from Fredericksburg, with some 6-pounder rifle
guns, and engaged the gunboats successfully. He then established
Bate's Tennessee regiment in a camp at Brooke Station, and returned
the rest of his forces to Fredericksburg.

On June ist, Lieutenant Tompkins, with 75 men of the Second
United States cavalry, sent on a scout, drove in the pickets and charged
through Lieut. -Col. R. S. Ewell's camp, at Fairfax, between three
and four in the morning. A lively skirmish ensued, forcing the Fed-
erals to pass around the village in retreat, after some loss. Colonel
Ewell was wounded, and Captain Marr, of the Warrenton rifles, was

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 9 of 153)