War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0290 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 1. Report of Major General George B. McClellan,* U. S. Army, with orders.


Washington, November 1, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to forward herewith Brigadier-General Stone's report of the engagement near Leesburg on the 21st ultimo. I also transmit a copy of the telegram sent by me to General Stone on the 20th [A], being the same mentioned in the beginning of his report as the basis of his movements. I also inclose a copy of his telegram in reply on same date [B]. My telegram did not contemplate the making an attack upon the enemy or the crossing of the river on force by any portion of General Stone's command, and, not anticipating such movement, I had upon the 20th directed Major-General McCall to return with his division on the morning of the 21st from Dranesville to the camp from which he had advanced, provided, the reconnaissance instructed to him should have been then completed. Being advised by telegrams from General Stone, received during the day and evening of the 21st, of the crossing of the river, the fall of Colonel Baker, the check sustained by our troops, and that nearly all his (Stone's) force had crossed the river, I sent to him at Edwards Ferry the following telegram at 10.30 p. m.: "Intrench yourself on the Virginia side and await re-enforcements if necessary." I immediately telegraphed Major-General Banks to proceed with the three brigades of his division to the support of General Stone, and advising the latter that he would thus supported, I directed him to hold his position at all hazards. On the 22nd I went personally to the scene of operations, and after ascertained that the enemy were strengthening themselves at Leesburg, and that our means of crossing and recrossing were very inefficient, I withdrew our forces from the Virginia side.

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


Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.


[Inclosure A.]

CAMP GRIFFIN, October 20, 1861.

Brigadier-General STONE, Poolesville:

General McClellan desires me to inform you that General McCall occupied Dranesville yesterday and is still there. Will send out heavy reconnaissance to-day in all directions from that point. The general desires that you keep a good lookout upon Leesburg, to see if this movement has the effect to drive them away. Perhaps a slight demonstration on your part would have the effect to move them.


Assistant Adjutant-General.