followed by General Patterson. But, from causes not necessary for me or refer to, even if I knew them all, this was to done, and the enemy was free to assemble from every direction in numbers only limited by the amount of his railroad rolling-stock and his supply of provisions.
To the forces, therefore, we drove in from Fairfax Court-House, Fairfax Station, Germantown, and Centreville, and those under Beauregard at Manassas, must be added those under Johnston from Winchester, and those brought up by Davis from Richmond and other places at the South,, to which is to be added the levy en masse ordered by the Richmond authorities, which was ordered to assemble at Manassas. What all this amounted to I cannot say; certainly much more than we attacked them with.
I could not, as I have said, move earlier or push on faster, nor could I delay,. A large and the best part, so considered, of my forces were three-months' volunteers, whose terms of service were about expiring, but who were went forward as having long enough to serve for the purpose of the expedition.
On the eve of the battle the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers and the battery of Volunteers Artillery of the Eighth New York Militia, whose term of service expired, insisted on their discharge. I wrote to the regiment as pressing a request as i could pen, and the honorable Secretary of War, who was at the time on the ground, tried to induce the battery to remain at least five days, but in vain. They insisted on their discharge that night. It was granted; and the next morning, when the Army moved forward into battle, these troops moved to the rear to the sound of the enemy's cannon.
In the next few days, day by day I should have lost ten thousand of the best armed, drilled, officered, and disciplined troops in the Army. In other words, every day which added to the strength of the enemy made us weaker.
In conclusion, I desire to say in reference to the events of the 21st ultimo, that the general order for the battle to which I have refereed was, with slight modifications, literally conformed to; that the corps were brought over Bull Run in the manner proposed, and put into action as before arranged, and that, up to late in the afternoon, every movement ordered was currying us successfully to the object we had proposed before starting-that of getting us successfully to the object we had proposed before starting-that of getting to the railroad leading from Manassas to the valley of Virginia, and going on it far enough to break up and destroy the communication, and interpose between the forces under Beauregard and those under Johnston; and could we have fought a day-yes, a few hours-sooner, there is everything to show that we should have continued successful, even against the odds with which we contended.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.
CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. DEP'T NORTHEASTERN VIRGINIA,
Centreville, July 20, 1861.
The commanders of divisions will give the necessary orders, that an equal distribution of the subsistence stores on hand may be made immediately