War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0339 Chapter XIV. BALL'S BLUFF AND EDWARDS FERRY, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

state of affairs. The point of land made by the intersection of Goose Creek with the Potomac was occupied by some 2,000 of our troops, no demonstration having been made by either side during the night or thus far in the day to disturb the quiet which existed, except to threaten by the enemy the possession of Harrisons' Island. It was impossible to execute our order by immediately crossing the river. There were but three boats - one canal-boat and two flats. It would have occupied more than the entire day to have set one division over. General Abercrombie commenced moving his brigade over, and completed it by 12 o'clock. General Williams will follow, but it may be deferred on account of an order received to-day. There are now 4,400 troops on the Virginia shore, a statement of which in detail I inclose.

The suggestion by the commanding general as to the occupation of the ground I think the best that could be made. We can obtain in a day or two boats enough to make the passage of the river perfectly secure and to bridge Goose Creek also. Strong entrenchments can be made, and the occupied point can be defended from the Maryland side as well as on the ground itself. We have about twenty pieces of artillery, and shall have a force of nearly 16,000 men.

Everything is in perfect quiet across the river up to this hour.

I am unable to give an account of the affair of yesterday or its results, which I suppose you have already learned.

With great respect, I am, your obedient servant,

N. P. BANKS,

Major-General, Commanding Division.

Brigadier-General WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, &c., Army of the Potomac.

No. 17. Reports of Francis L. Buxton, U. S. Secret Service, of the Confederate forces at Leesburg, &c.

POINT OF ROCKS, MARYLAND,

October 25, 1861.

COLONEL: I have just arrived here, and to begin at the end of my journey I will first say to you that there are no troops north of Leesburg except Home Guards and pickets. The Mississippi regiment which was at Winchester joined the force at Leesburg on the very morning of the day on which the engagement took place between Leesburg and the Potomac. The force at Leesburg remains at the Mississippi regiment just attached, 750 strong, and two regiments which were out on picket duty-one Mississippi and one Virginia. Each number about 600 men. The numbers are therefore now:

Sixteen regiments ....................................... 11,000

One regiment ............................................ 750

Two regiments ........................................... 1,200

_______

Total force now at Leesburg (on Sunday, yesterday) ....... 12.950

I have been thus particular on account of rumors in the neighborhood that there were 50,000 men at Leesburg. This I pledge you my life is not the case. I was distressed beyond measure in coming through Virginia to hear the jubilant tone of the Army. They have the most