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[82] who has been increasing his forces rapidly in the last few days. He has doubtless at present, on this side of the Potomac, at least 30,000 men, and probably as many in or about Washington; and I am informed on good authority that he is crossing over reinforcements in large numbers every night, so that very shortly we will be attacked, probably by about 40,000 men! What do you suppose is my effective force to resist this attack? About 15,000 effective men! How can it be expected that I shall be able to maintain my ground unless reinforced immediately? I am determined to give the enemy battle no matter at what odds against us; but is it right and proper to sacrifice so many valuable lives (and perhaps our cause) without the least prospect of success? But I hope it may have the effect, at least, of delaying the advance of the enemy, and give our friends time to come to the rescue. I have to apply two or three times for the most essential things required here. To obtain anything with despatch, I have to send a special messenger to Richmond. Is this the way to direct and control the operations of an army in the field? Cannot this evil be remedied? I am sure it could be if properly represented to the President.

I fear General Johnston is no better off than I am; but his section of country is, I believe, more easily defended, being wooded and mountainous. My troops are in fine spirits and anxious for a fight. They seem to have the most unbounded confidence in me.

Oh, that I had the genius of a Napoleon, to be more worthy of our cause and of their confidence!

If I could only get the enemy to attack me, as I am trying to have him do, I would stake my reputation on the handsomest victory that could be hoped for. Yours very truly,

The following letter, written a few days later, is also of particular interest:

Headquarters army of the Potomac, Manassas Junction, July 11th, 1861.
To His Excellency Jefferson Davis:

Sir,— I have the honor to transmit herewith the Field Return of the army under my command, from which you will perceive the effective force at my disposition is as follows: Light Artillery, 533, with 27 pieces; Cavalry, 1425; Foot Artillery, 293; and Infantry, 16,150; in all 18,401 men of all arms. From this must be deducted the command of Colonel Hunton at Leesburg, of some 445 men, who will remain in position there until the enemy shall have advanced to attack my outposts, when the colonel will fall back and unite his force with that of Colonel Cocke, commanding the 5th Brigade at the stone bridge across Bull Run. Colonel Sloan's regiment, 4th South Carolina Volunteers, has already fallen back from Leesburg to Frying-pan Church, preparatory to a junction with Colonel Cocke, at Centreville.

I have every reason to believe that the enemy will begin his advance from his present position, at or about Falls Church, to-morrow or on the following day,

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Philip St. George Cocke (2)
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