War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0960 Chapter XIV. OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

nearly inclosed by separate infantry defenses, and the entire shore is picket off to effectually prevent a surprise by night. This I have deemed very important, and the inclosed of batteries preliminary to the entrenched camp. On this hast point I have changed my opinion, as I think you and General Beauregard would if here.

Powhatan Hill and Triplett's are too far from the batteries to protect them by infantry, and we have no heavy guns to put into such a camp; besides this, the enemy can only reach hills (unless on our shore front) by landing above Quantico and Chopawamsic Creeks and marching 5 miles to the head of these creeks and 5 miles down into this peninsula, opposed all the way by our forces, in a country where scarcely more than a platoon can fight in front. This the enemy doubtless knows, and will never attempt. I have therefore abandoned the entrenched camp on the hills, and propose one down on the river plain to inclose the two upper batteries. This has been laid but not began, giving place, as I have remarked, to the pickets on the shore and the closing of the gorge of each battery. I have suggested to General Franch its rapid completion. But, general, we have too few guns here to resist a combined attack from three or more heavy ships and the batteries on the other side, and we should have more guns, either to put on the hills, or (which I prefer) to plant opposite this point, extending our line of defense farther along the river. The guns, I think, can yet be got up on the George Page at night, if they are ready for use. I shall urge this to General Homles and also in Richmond. What you have now to meet is a severe bombardment from the other side, combitioned with heave ships from above and below our batteries. I do not think enemy will attempt to land before this, but I believe he will at the same time the attack is made march down on the Occoquan, attempt to cross, and fall on our forces at Dumfries.

With the belief you will again defeat the enemy, I am, truly, yours,.


P. S. -Ask General Beauregard if the intended camp was done, or why not; please give him my views.

We have not the men or tools to dome than we have done; our heavy night pickets and large fatigue working parties have made the duty very severe on the command.

You on General Beauregard or General Smith should come down here and take a look. It is to be the center of the next contests.

CENTREVILLE, November 16, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

Please send several naval officers to severe under Captain Sterrett, at the navy batteries at Manassas, as soon as practicable.




Numbers 18. Richmond, va., November 16, 1861.

Paragraph 3 of General Orders, Numbers 15 [October 22], current series is hereby modified, and the several division and brigades therein will be arranged as follows, to wit:

First Division, under Major-General Van Dorn:

First Brigade, Brigadier-General Whiting, to consist of five Mississippi regiments.