War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0199 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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as colonel, and both he and C. M. Wilcox can be employed in higher commands, as necessity may require.


Adjutant and Inspector General.


MANASSAS, VA., July 28, 1861.

General R. S. EWELL, Union Mills, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 25th instant is received. I do not attach the least blame to you for the failure of the movement on Conterville, but to the guide who did not deliver the order to move forward, sent at about 8.30 a. m. to General Holmes and then to you, corresponding in every respect to the one sent to Generals Jones, Longstreet, and Bonham, only their movement was subordinate to yours. Unfortunately no copy, in the hurry of the moment, was kept of said orders, and so many guides - about a dozen or more - were sent of in different diretions, that it is next to impossible to find out who was the bearer of the other referred to. Our guides and couriers were the worst set I ever employed, whether from ignorance or over anxiety to do well and quickly, I cannot say, but many regiments lost their way repeatedly, on their way toward the field of battle, and of course I can attach no more blame to their commanding officers than I could to you, for not executing an order which I am convinced you did not get. I am fully aware that you did all that could have been expected of you or your command. I merely express my regret that any original plan could not be carried into effect, as it would then have been a most complete victory with only half the trouble and fighting. The true cause of countermanding your forward movement after you had crossed was that it was then too late, as the enemy was about to annihilate our left flank and had to be met and checked there, for otherwise he would have taken us in flank and rear, and all would have been lost.

Yours, trully,



P. S. - Please road the above to Major James. The order sent you at about 8 a. m. to commence the movement on Centerville was addressed to General Holmes and yourself, as he was to support you. But being nearer to Camp Pickens, the headquarters, than Union Mills, where you were, it was to be communicated to him first and then to you, but he had informed me that it never reached him. With regard to the order sent you in the afternoon to recross the Bull Run, to march toward the Stone Bridge, it was sent you by General J. E. Johnston, as I am informed by him, for the purpose of supporting our left, if necessary.

G. T. B.


MANASSAS, July 26, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

Captain Henderson, commanding a company of mounted volunteers, reported to me on the 25th that General Patterson's army is at Harper's Ferry. Two regiments have crossed the river into Maryland, and two others are at Sandy Hook, near Harper's Ferry, on the Maryland side. General Patterson is supposed to have relinquished the command.


General, C. S. Army.