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between the two. Another regiment was stationed at Union Mills Ford, not far from where the railroad to Alexandria crosses the same stream. Another regiment was placed at Centreville, and some detached companies of cavalry and infantry were in the vicinity of Fairfax Court-House, about six miles in advance of Centreville. The remaining forces were at and about Manassas. The enemy was then engaged in collecting a large force in front of Washington and Alexandria, with its advance at Falls Church, half-way to Fairfax Court-House, and it was currently reported by the Northern press that this army, under Major-General Mc-Dowell, would soon advance on Manassas, on its way to Richmond. General Beauregard was not satisfied with the grounds selected for our troops, nor with the condition of things at Camp Pickens, Manassas. There was no running water near enough; the plan of works was too extensive; the fords were too numerous to be easily guarded by such a small force as was at hi
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, with a force not short of 35,000 men, supported by a reserve of not less than 15,000 infantry. To these I can oppose but about 16,500, reserving about 1500, merely for camp guards, pickets, and the garrison of the intrenched camp here. In consequence of this great disparity in numbers, I have issued the Special Order No. 100, enclosed herewith, concentrating my troops, in the exigency, on the naturally strong positions enumerated therein, afforded by
re those present the subject-matter with which I was charged, I submitted, on your part, the following proposition: That the Confederate armies were in front of the enemy, with greatly inferior forces at all points; that it was desirable, by uniting a portion of our forces, to outnumber the enemy at some important point; that the point now occupied by you was, at present, in reference to the armies, considered the most important. I stated also that the enemy were at present at or near Falls Church, with eight or ten thousand men on the Alexandria, Loudon, and Hampshire Railroad, and also with some portion of his forces at Springfield, on the Alexandria and Orange Railroad, with every indication of a purpose to advance on both lines, and that it was most probable the enemy would threaten our camps at Manassas with about ten thousand men, while with the main body, twenty thousand or more, would advance towards Vienna, Frying-pans, and Pleasant Valley to Hay Market, on the Manassas G
peration of General Longstreet, finally captured Mason's and Munson's Hills, in full view of Washington. General Beauregard, who had had minute information concerning these positions, through Colonel George W. Lay, long a resident of Washington, proposed to General Johnston, now that they were in our hands, to hold and support them by the following arrangement of troops: 1 brigade (Bonham's) at or about old Court-House, near Vienna. 2 brigades (D. R. Jones's and Cocke's) at or about Falls Church. 1 brigade (Longstreet's) at or about Munson's Hill. 1 brigade (Johnston's forces) half-way between Mason's and Munson's Hills. 1 brigade (Johnston's forces) at Mason's Hill. 2 brigades (Walker's and Early's) at or about Annandale. 1 brigade (Ewell's) at or about Springfield. Some of General Johnston's other brigades were to be placed at Centreville, Fairfax Court-House, and Fairfax Station, and they might occasionally be moved towards the Potomac above, to alarm the enemy and keep h
ptain E. P. Alexander, whose zeal and activity were untiring, came to headquarters and reported that rockets were being thrown up, in a very strange manner, from the lines of the forces opposing us. General Beauregard at once ordered the discharge of the appropriate signals; and, in a few moments a counter-blaze of rockets swept the sky along the entire line of the Confederate pickets, which extended about ten miles from the Occoquan, on the right, to the vicinity of the Potomac, north of Falls Church, on the left. The consequence was a most extraordinary illumination, which produced an excitement in Washington, where charges soon became rife that officers of the War Department had given information of an intended advance by McClellan, in the night, which the Confederates had shown their readiness to meet. Through the same officer (Captain Alexander), General Beauregard had also succeeded in establishing a signal telegraph between Mason's and Munson's Hills and Washington. A piece
k, 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 ill transmit to-day the official reports of the affair, which does so much credit to Colonel Stuart, of the cavalry. He and General Longstreet are two very promising officers. The latter will be ordered to-day to advance with his brigade to Falls Church, and General Ewell to Annandale, so as to be ready to support, at a moment's notice, the forces at and about Munson's and Mason's hills (the latter is called also Chestnut Hill). I transferred, yesterday, my headquarters to this place, so as t