Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 19, 1861 (Friday): Where is Johnston?

Piedmont, Va. (now Delaplane)

                                                                                    RICHMOND, July 19, 1861.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Comdg., &c., Manassas Junction, Va.:
   We have no intelligence from General Johnston.  If the enemy in front of you have abandoned an immediate attack and General Johnston has not moved, you had better withdraw call upon him, so that he may be left to his full discretion.  All the troops arriving at Lynchburg are ordered to join you.  From this place we will send as fast as transportation permits.  The enemy is advised at Washington of the projected movment of Generals Johnston and Holmes, and may vary his plans in conformity thereto.

                                                                                    S. COOPER,
                                                                        Adjustant and Inspector General

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 2, Page 382.

Such was the nature of communications in the Civil War.  Earlier, Beauregard told Richmond he believed any help Johnston could provide would arrive too late.  Here, Richmond does not know where Johnston is.  In point of fact, part of his command was in Piedmont (now Delaplane), 50 miles west of Washington, preparing to board trains and head for Manassas Junction.

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