tigation of this will show that no cars have been detained for a longer time than absolutely required for unloading.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. CABELL,
Chief Quartermaster Army of the Potomac.
P. S.-I inclose a note from the railroad agent at Manassas..
W. L. CABELL,
Major and Quartermaster.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
MANASSAS, September 20, 1861.
Major W. L. CABELL:
DEAR SIR: In answer to your inquiry I would state that the cars at this place are unloaded with all possible dispatch and returned. There are none in use as store cars.
Yours, very respectfully,.
JAMES A. EVANS,
HEADQUARTERS, NEAR FAIRFAX STATION, September 22, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:
SIR: I had the honor to receive this morning your letter of the 19th instant and the correspondence inclosed with it..
The President had already, by telegraph, given me orders on the same subject. As evidence against the correctness of the charge, I laid before him letters from Major Cabell, chief quartermaster, and Mr. Evans, agent of the railroad company. Copies of the same letters are respectfully submitted to you.* I hope that they may convince you that the negligence with which we are charge does not exist.
I beg leave to suggest that flour could be bought at very moderate prices in the valley of the Shenandoah, and brought to us, with certainty as to time, on the Manassas Gap Railroad..
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
CAMP ON SEWELL, VA., September 23, 1861.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding Forces, &c.;
GENERAL: The enemy are in strong force on the Big Sewell, I believe in full force (of at least 3,000 men), and a scout just in from Nichol's Mill says 7,000 are reported there. I saw the masses crossing the top of Big Sewell, with artillery and cavalry. We could see about four regiments, and now count thirty camp fires. Their advance commenced firing at mine about one-half hour or an hour by sun. I cannot retire my baggage wagons or other resent encumbrances. It is now 12 o'clock at night, and we are expecting an attack. My cavalry has crossed New River to this side,a nd there are none of the enemy on the old State road. Every few hours I get reports from Nichol's Mill, and there have not been seen any but a few stragglers there. The idea of the.
*See Johnston to President, same date, p. 872.