Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 8, 1861 (Monday) Johnston, Ever The Optimist

General Chase Whiting

                                                                                    Winchester, July 8, 1861.
General S. Cooper,
            Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
   GENERAL:  Since I forwarded to you Colonel Jackson’s report from Darkesville nothing has occurred worth mentioning.  I waited in that position until yesterday hoping that the enemy might, by leaving his strong post at Martinsburg, give us an opportunity to fight.  Becoming convinced that he had no such intentions, I returned to this place last night, and am now having a few slight field works thrown up, under Major Whiting’s directions, to cover our cannon and militia.  The latter are assembling, two brigades were called out, the commanders of which expect to have 2,200 men by evening.
   General Patterson received two regiments day before yesterday, and several others are said to be approaching Martinsburg by Williamsport. 
   The service here requires a few more regular officers in quartermaster and commissary departments; two more competent to command brigades, and one for adjutant-general.
   If we are beaten here, General Beauregard’s left will be very insecure.
          Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                                                                    J. E. JOHNSTON,
                                                                        Brigadier-General, C. S. Army

Official Records, Series I. Vol. 2, Page 967

Here Johnston hopes to be attacked and contemplates the implications of his defeat in the same missive.  The Whiting referred to is Chase Whiting, first in his class in 1845 and serving as Johnston’s chief engineer.  In 1865 Whiting would be captured defending Fort Fischer and die in prison in New York less than a month before Appomattox

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