previous next
[24] chester, to prevent the junction of Patterson's and McClellan's forces.

While we were waiting for a guide to lead us by the best road to Bunker's Hill, a courier from Richmond brought me a letter1 from General Cooper,2 dated June 13th, giving me the President's authority to abandon Harper's Ferry and retire toward Winchester in such a contingency as the present, in the following passages: β€œ.. . You will consider yourself authorized, whenever the position of the enemy shall convince you that he is about to turn your position, to destroy every thing at Harper's Ferry which could serve the purposes of the enemy, and retire upon the railroad toward Winchester. ... Should you not be sustained by the population of β€˜the Valley,’ so as to enable you to turn upon the enemy before reaching Winchester, you will continue to retire slowly to the Manassas road, in some of the passes of which, it is hoped, you will be able to make an effective stand, even against a very superior force. . . . Should you move so far as to make a junction with General Beauregard, the enemy would be free immediately to occupy the Valley of Virginia, and to pass to the rear of Manassas Junction .. .”

We moved at nine o'clock, and, passing through Smithfield, reached the turnpike at Bunker's Hill in the afternoon, and bivouacked on the banks of the stream that flows through the hamlet.

Next morning the troops were formed on the high ground on the Martinsburg side, which offered a favorable position for battle, to await the approach of

1 In reply to mine of the 9th.

2 The Adjutant-General of the Confederate States army.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Richmond (1)
S. Cooper (1)
G. T. Beauregard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: