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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 2, Part 1 (First Manassas Campaign)
Page 896 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.

This place cannot be held against an enemy who would venture to attack it. Would it not be better for these troops to join one of our armies, which is too weak for its object, than be lost here? They are not equipped for the field. The only means of transportation, besides the railroad, are wagons impressed in the neighborhood. Should these troops be ordered elsewhere, please indicate any objectionable [?] route.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON,

Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

SUFFOLK, VA., May 31, 1861.

Colonel R. S. GARNETT,

Adjutant-General:

An attempt is being made, under my orders, to bring one or two steamboats (to act as tugs or transports) into the Nansemond River. I think it will be successful. I have here (besides my two Maryland companies) a regiment from North Carolina and two troops of cavalry, and have been ordered by General Huger to take command of the forces in this district. On good authority, I believe the landing at Newport News to be a sanitary measure, and the enemy's forces there do not exceed thirty-five hundred men. If I may be permitted, and the troops in Yorktown can co-operate with me, I think I can (say two nights hence) cross the James River and strike him a blow, and then retire. I respectfully ask the general's advice.

FRANCIS J. THOMAS.


HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES,
Richmond, Va., May 31, 1861.

Colonel FRANCIS J. THOMAS,

Commanding, &c., Suffolk, Va.:

SIR: In reply to you telegram of to-day, I am instructed to state that you can prepare the transports, so that they may be ready for any emergency. You must not, however, make the attack at present, unless completely prepared for success. It is necessary, before doing so, that there should be a sure and complete co-operation between the forces on both sides of the James River, and that there should be a most perfect knowledge of the number and position of the U. S. troops.

I am, sir, with respect, your obedient servant,

R. S. GARNETT,

Adjutant-General.


SPECIAL ORDERS,
HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES,

No. 149. Richmond, Va., May 31, 1861.

General G. T. Beauregard, of the C. S. Army, is assigned to the command of the troops in the Alexandria line. He is referred to the orders heretofore given to his predecessors in that command for the general direction of operations.

By order of Major-General Lee:

R. S. GARNETT,

Adjutant-General.


Page 896 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 2, Part 1 (First Manassas Campaign)
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