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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)

MANASSAS, July 9, 1861.

President DAVIS:

Enemy's force increasing, and advancing daily this side of Potomac. He will soon attack with very superior numbers. No time should be lost in re-enforcing me here with at least ten thousand men-volunteers or militia. I write to-day.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Winchester, July 9, 1861-7 p. m.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: I have just been informed by Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, commanding our cavalry, that he has reason to believe that the enemy intends to advance upon us to-night (the distance is but twenty-tow miles.) The evidences are that it is the belief of the people living near the town, ascertained by his pickets, and that three days' provisions were issued to-day, and that a United States lieutenant had mentioned it.

We are not prepared beyond the readiness of our men to fight. The field works have not been progressed with far enough to make them useful, and the militia is not provided with fixed ammunition, having received but powder and lead.

Most respectfully, &c.,


Winchester, July 9, 1861.

[General COOPER?]

GENERAL: I was so unwell yesterday as to be unable to write fully, and therefore trusted to the information contained in the note from Colonel Edmundson, * of the correctness of which, in the main, I have no doubt. Similar information from other sources gives me the impression that the re-enforcements arriving at Martinsburg amount to seven or eight thousand. I have estimated the enemy's force hitherto, you may remember, at 18,000. Additional artillery has also been received. They were greatly superior to us in that arm before.

The object of re-enforcing General Patterson must be an advance upon this place. Fighting here against great odds seems to me more prudent than retreat.

I have not asked for re-enforcements, because I supposed that the War Department, informed of the state of affairs everywhere, could best judge where the troops at its disposal are most require. The arms ordered by Colonel Thomas for the militia are not here yet. The tow generals expect some 2,200, but at present we cannot arm them all, and they have their own ammunition to fix, being furnished with powder and lead.

Most of the regiments which have joined since my arrival have incompetent officers, and are therefore still uninstructed.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, &c.


*See p. 967.


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 2, Part 1 (First Manassas Campaign)
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