War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0689 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Provisional Confederate Government, as it was termed, on the 8th of February, 1861. The extent to which this preparation was carried is indicated by the statements in the following letters relating to Virginia and South Carolina:


March 6, 1861.

Major General M. L. BONHAM,

Commanding Volunteer Forces of South Carolina:

GENERAL: The number of companies organized and received under the act of General Assembly of December 17, 1860, is 104-in the aggregate amounting to 8,835 rank and file, constituting ten regiments of ten companies each. The force is divided into four brigades, constituting one division.



Adjutant and Inspector General of South Carolina.

HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, June 15, 1861.

His Excellency JOHN LETCHER,

Governor of Virginia:

SIR: Agreeably to your request, I submit the statement of the military and naval preparations for the defense of Virginia from the period of her separation from the United States Government to the date of transfer of the military operations of the State to the Confederate Government. Arrangements were first made for the establishment of batteries, to prevent the ascent of an enemy by hostile vessels. As soon as an examination was made for the selection of sites their construction was begun, and their armament and defense committed to the Virginia navy.

Preparations were also begun for receiving into the service of the State volunteer companies, and for organizing, arming, and equipping them. Mustering officers were appointed, rendezvous established, and provision made for their subsistence and shelter. The primary estimate of the number of troops of all arms required, based upon the points to be defended, amounted to 51,000 men. The estimated quota of each portion of the State has been furnished except from the western section. Arrangements were made for calling out volunteers from the western section at the same time and in the same manner as from the eastern section, but as yet it has been feebly responded to.

Complete returns from the troops in the field have not, and from the nature of things cannot, for some time, be received; but from the best source of information within our reach the number of Virginia troops is about 35,000. This amount probably falls below the real number, for, referring to the report of the colonel of ordnance, it will be seen that he has issued 2,054 rifles and c604 muskets, in addition to pistols and sabers to the cavalry. Thirteen thousand arms have also been issued from Lexington, and several thousand from the arsenal at Richmond have been issued to troops from other States; but many of the Virginia companies, supposed to be about 5,000 men, were armed and equipped whenthe service of the State. Should the number of unarmed companies from other States not differ materially from the number of armed companies from this State, the number of Virginia troops in the field may be assumed to be about 40,000. When it is remembered that this body of men were called from a State of profound to one of unexpected war, you will have reason to commend the alacrity with which they left their homes and families and prepared themselves for the defense of the State.

The assembling the men, however, was not the most difficult operation. Provision for their instruction, subsistence, equipment, clothing, shelter, and transportation in the field required more time and labor. Ammunition of every kind had to be manufactured; carriages of the guns for river, land, and field service had to be made, with the necessary implements, caissons, batteries, wagons, &c.


One hundred and fifteen guns for field service have thus been provided, from which twenty-eight batteries of four guns each have been furnished, with the requisite horses, harness, &c...115

For the defense of James River, two batteries and two steamers have been provided, mounting altogether, forty guns, ranging in caliber from 32-pounders to 8 and 9 inch columbiads. Arrangements are also in process for mounting sixty guns of different weights on the defenses around Richmond, and a naval battery of six 12-pound howitzers is in process of organization...................40