In regard to the character and efficiency of the troops under my command, I have to state that nearly all the force is new and imperfectly discipline; that several of the regiments are in a very disorganized condition from various causes, which it is not necessary to state here. Several regiments having been relieved from brigades which have gone into the field in consequence of their unfitness for service, the best regiments remaining have been selected to take their place. Two heavy artillery regiments and one infantry regiment which had been drilled for some months in artillery service have been withdrawn from the forts on the south side of the Potomac, and I have only been able to fill their places with very new infantry regiments, entirely unacquainted with the duties of that arm, and of little or no value in their present position.
I am not informed of the position which Major-General Banks is directed to take, but at this time he is, as I understand, on the other side of the Bull Run Mountains, leaving my command to cover the front from Manassas Gap (about 20 miles beyond Manassas) to Aquia Creek.
I deem it my duty to state that, looking at the numerical strength and character of the force under my command, it is, in my judgment, entirely inadequate to, and unfit for, the important duty to which it is assigned.
I regard it very improbable that the enemy will assail us at this point, but this belief is based upon the hope that they may be promptly engaged elsewhere and may not learn the number and character of the force left here.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JAS. S. WADSWORTH,
Washington City, D. C., April 19, 1862.
The Secretary of War desires General Wadsworth to assume a supposed attack by the enemy on Washington; that General Wadsworth heard of it on the receipt of this memorandum, and gives immediate orders to meet it by calling out his force, to be placed in line of battle; that Assistant Adjutant-General Jones, as inspector-general, be directed to report to the War Department in person the number and condition of the troops three hours after this order shall have been given.
By command of the Secretary of War:
E. A. HITCHCOCK,
Major-General, on duty in the War Department.
Washington City, April 19, 1862.
Report of Assistant Inspector-General Major Roger Jones of the forces assembled at 7 o'clock p.m. at north end of Long Bridge and Aqueduct.
General Wadsworth received the order of the Secretary at 2.45 p.m. Came to War Office at 3. 15 p.m. to get the order revoked, which was
15 R R-VOL XII