In J.E. Johnston's hand and signed by him writing Stonewall Jackson (who used Winchester, Virginia as his base of operations from June, 1861 until his death in 1863). It describes troop numbers and the need for re-inforcements the days immediatelyBEFORE1st Bull Run...this letter is phenomenal! Condition as shown in scans with 4 tape repairs to 4 heavy creases on backs of written pages. 8" x 10" folded, 16" x 10" unfolded. Some holing and slits at the creases when held to light, but paper is in great condition and still has some crispness. As I said, this is 12 days BEFORE 1st Manassas (Bull Run) and there hasn't been a major battle between South and North as of this writing. If you read the great content, you can feel the tension building as an inevitable battle is about to erupt between the opposing forcesat Manassas Junction.3 CSA Generals were involved in the first major clash of Union and Confederate forces, Johnston (who is writing the letter), Jackson (the recipient of the letter), and Beauregard (who is prominently being included in the operational plans of the letter).
The letter is very legible and is in Joseph E. Johnstons hand with his official Brigadier General signature. It reads as follows:
"Hd Qtrs. Winchester
July 9th, 1861
I was so unwell yesterday as to be unable to write fully, & therefore trusted to the information contained in the note from Col. Edmonson, of the correctness of which, in the main, I have no doubt. Similar information from other sources gives me the impression that the re-inforcements arriving at Martinsburg amount to seven or eight thousand. I have estimated the enemy's force hitherto, you may remember at (18000). Additional artillery has also been received. They are greatly superior to us, in that area, before.
The object of re-enforcing Genl. Patterson must be an advance upon this place. Fighting here against great odds, seems to me more prudent than retreat.
I have not asked for re-inforcements, because I supposed that the War Dept. informed of the state of affairs everywhere, could best judge where the troops at its disposal are most required. The arms ordered by Col. Thomas for the militia are not here yet. The two Genls. expect some (2200) - but at present, we can not arm them all - & they have their own ammunition to fix, being furnished with powder & lead.
Most of the regiments which have joined since my arrival, have incompetent officers - & are therefore still uninstructed.
Yr Obt. servt.
Jos. E. Johnston
If it is proposed to strengthen us against the attack, I suggest as soon to be made, it seems to me that Gen. Beauregard might WITH GREAT EXPEDITION, furnish five or six thousand men for a few days.
The back of the letter is signed "official" by Maj. John Riely, Adjutant . (Maj.) Riely chronicled any correspondence when it arrived in Richmond for the War Dept. (and forwarded anything deemed important to Jefferson Davis.)
For more information about Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters in Winchester, Virginia I recommend the folowing read available at Amazon.com:Stonewall Jackson and Winchester, Virginia (Paperback) – May 15, 2012byJerry Holsworth(Author)4.7 out of 5 stars5 ratingsThis book deals with Stonewall Jackson and his relationship with the town of Winchester, Virginia, and will cover the period beginning in June, 1861 and end with his death in May, 1863. Many accounts of Jackson's life describe him as peculiar both in his habits and in his religious beliefs. For most Americans, particularly today, those character traits are somewhat strange. But to the people of Winchester, Virginia during the 1860s, they were neither strange nor peculiar because they represented the beliefs of the vast majority of the people of the Shenandoah Valley. This, plus his spectacular successes on the battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley endeared the people of Winchester to Jackson in a way that no other personality ever did (and that includes a 10 year stay in the town by George Washington).
Everything I sell is GENUINE and I have provenance to 1879 in an old French Quarter shop that was frequented by Civil War vets (especially Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard) who traded items as well as stories. In fact Beauregard was a very frequent flyer to the French Quarter where Southern society embraced him as a war hero.
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