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[476] to this post, is the being drawn into a serious action in its defence. So near them, and so far from our front, such a thing would be disadvantageous.

Wilcox goes to Winchester first to see if an adequate force can be raised, and will write or send thence to Evans.

Yours truly,


Manassas, Va., Sept. 6th, 1861.
Dear General,—I have been reflecting much on our advanced positions since my visit to them, and I think, under the present circumstances, we can neither give them up, nor allow them to be taken from us by a coup de main, or an attack in force, for the effect on the morale of the enemy would be tremendous. From what I saw the other day, our reserves at Fairfax Court-House, and Station (about eight miles back), are too far back to be able to come up in time to the assistance of those advanced positions; hence we must make up our minds, I think, to advance them, for the present at any rate, in which case I would propose the following arrangement and positions:

One brigade (Bonham's) to or about old Court-House, near Vienna.

Two brigades (D. R. Jones's and Cocke's) to or about Falls Church.

One brigade (Longstreet's) to Munson's Hill.

One brigade (of yours) to half-way (about) between Munson's and Mason's hills.

One brigade (of yours) to Mason's Hill.

Two brigades (Walker's and Early's) to or about Annandale.

One brigade (Ewell's) to Springfield.

Some of your other brigades might be put at Centreville, Fairfax Court-House and Station, as a second reserve, which might occasionally be moved towards the Potomac to keep the enemy constantly alarmed for the safety of Washington, and to cross into Maryland should he send off a large force from Washington to any point on the lower Potomac. If these suggestions are accepted, I would then transfer my headquarters to Annandale, otherwise to Fairfax Court-House.

Yours, very truly,


Duncan's House, Manassas, Va., Sept. 6th, 1861.
Dear General,—I cannot perceive the advantage of placing ourselves so near the enemy's works as you propose (the line of Munson's and Mason's hills, etc.). They seem to me too strong to be attacked by us with our present means.

We can rely upon sufficient supplies neither of ammunition, ordnance, nor provisions.

We should bring on a war of outposts and continual skirmishing, which would gradually improve the United States troops, and so diminish the difference now existing in our favor.

The line of Fairfax Court-House seems to me sufficiently forward for our purposes, and on it our troops are more easily supplied than on the other. An approach to Washington must be by crossing the Potomac above. For that we


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