War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0061 Chapter IX. SKIRMISH AT FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 3. General McDowell's indorsement on Lieutenant Tompkin's report.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT N. E. VIRGINIA,

Arlington, June 7, 1861.

Colonel D. HUNTER,

Third United States Cavalry, commanding Brigade:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that Lieutenant tompkins' report of the affair at Fairfax Court-House on the night of the 30th ultimo has been forwarded to their headquarters of the Army indorsed as follows:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT N. E. VIRGINIA,

Arlington, June 5, 1861.

Lieutenant Tompkins behaved most gallantry in the spirited encounter in which he enslaved himself. He had two horses shot under him and is now temporarily disabled form a contused foot, caused by one of the horses which was shot falling on him.

The skirmish has given considerable prestige to our regular cavalry in the eyes of our people and of the volunteer regiments, but the lieutenant acted without authority, and went further than he knew he was desired or expected to go, and frustrated unintentionally, for the time, a more important movement. He has been so informed by me, verbally; and whilst in the future he will not be less gallant, he will be more circumspect.

Respectfully forwarded to the headquarters of the Army:

IRVIN McDOWELL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

I am further directed to say that the General-in-Chief has fully concurred in the opinion of the general commanding the department.

It is perceived that Lieutenant Tompkins' first report in this case has been given to the public through columns of the New York Tribune. I am directed to ask you to give such instructions that this may not become a practice. Official reports and papers of this nature are not to be considered within the control of those who make them, but of house to whom they are made.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES B. FRY,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 4. Reports of Brigadier General M. L. Bonham, C. S. Army.

MANASSAS JUNCTION, VA., June 1, 1861.

Captain Marr was killed; Colonel Ewell wounded in the shoulder, and one private badly in the right breast. The delay in this work makes me hesitate as to sending forward the main body of our troops at once to Ewell's line. I shall strengthen him to-night. I inclose you, for what it is worth, the following dispatch:

General BONHAM:

Within five days the troops of Fairfax, Centerville, and Manassas are to be attacked. The principal attack at Manassas. This by authority of one who does not which his names as giving information. Mr.--- reports no troops this side of Falls Church. He met the retiring cavalry, much cut up. Fifteen led horses. One dead man and another badly wounded were in a wagon. Many wounded men and horses.

R. S. EWELL.