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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 504 Chapter IX. OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.

exclusively occupied for months in the construction of a stupendous series of fortifications for the protection of its own capital.

I beg to call attention to the reports of the several subordinate commanders for reference to the signal parts played by individuals of their respective command. Contradictory statements found in these reports should not excite surprise, when we remember how difficult it not impossible it is to reconcile the narrations of bystanders or participants in even the most inconsiderable affair, much less the shifting, thrilling scenes of a battle-field.

Accompanying are maps showing the position of the armies on the morning of the 21st July and of three several stages of the battle; also of the line of Bull Run north of Blackburn's Ford. These maps, from actual surveys made by Captain D. B. Harris, assisted by Mr. John Grant, were drawn by the latter with a rare accuracy worthy of high commendation.*

In conclusion,. it is proper and doubtless expected that through this report my countrymen should be made acquainted with some of the sufficient causes that prevented the advance of our forces and prolonged vigorous pursuit of the enemy to and beyond the Potomac. The War Department has been fully advised long since of all of those causes, some of which only are proper to be here communicated. An army which had fought as ours on that day, against uncommon odds, under a July sun, most of the time without water and without food except a hastily-snatched scanty meal at dawn not in condition for the toil of an eager, effective pursuit of a any enemy immediately after the battle.

On the following day an unusually heavy and unintermitting fall of rain intervened to obstruct our advance with reasonable prospect of fruitful results. Added to this, the want of a cavalry force of sufficient numbers made an efficient pursuit a military impossibility.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

General, Commanding.

General S. Cooper,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.,

[Indorsement.]

the order issued by the War Department to General Johnston was not, as herein reports, to form a junction, "should the movement in his judgment be deemed advisable." The following is a accurate copy of the order:

General Beauregard is attacked. To strike the enemy a decisive blow, a junction of all your effective force will be needed. If practicable, make the movement, sending your sick and baggage to Culpeper Court-House, either by railroad or by Warrenton.

In all the arrangements exercise discretion.

The words "if practicable" had reference to letters of General Johnston of 12th and 15th of July, which made it extremely doubtful if he had the power to make the movement, in view of the relative strength and position of Petterson's forces as compared with his own.

The plan of campaign reported to have been submitted, but not accepted, and to have led to a decision of the War Department, cannot be found among its files, nor any reference to any decision made upon it, and was not known that the Army had advanced beyond the line of Bull Run, the position previously selected by General Lee, and which was supposed to have continued to be the defensive line occupied by the

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* Not found.

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Page 504 Chapter IX. OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 2, Part 1 (First Manassas Campaign)
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