Wednesday, August 10, 2011

September 11, 1861 (Sunday): Beauregard Rearranges Forces

Northern Virginia (Modern)  

                                                            MANASSAS, VA., August 11, 1861.
            Commanding, Manassas, Va.:
   DEAR GENERAL:  In order to prevent a coup de main from McClellan, as already communicated to you, I have ordered Longstreet to Fairfax Court-House, Jones to Germantown, and Bonham to fall back on Flint Hill, leaving a strong mounted guard at or about Vienna.  Cocke goes to Centreville; Ewell, to Sangster’s Cross-Roads; Early and Hampton, to intersection of Occoquan road with Wolf Run Shoals road; Evans has gone to Leesburg.  The Louisiana Brigade remains for the present at or about Mitchell’s Ford.
   Will you permit me to suggest that Elzey should concentrate his brigade at or about Fairfax Station, and Jackson at or about the cross of (Stuart to remain where he is) Braddock’s road with the Fairfax Court-House and Station road.
   From those advanced positions we could at any time concentrate our forces for offensive or defensive purposes.  I think by a bold move we could capture the enemy’s advance forces at Annandale, and, should he come out to their support, give him battle, with all the chances in our favor; but for that object we must have all our artillery ready in every respect.
    Yours, very truly,
                                                            G. T. BEAUREGARD.

Series I., Vol. 5, Page 778.

As we’ve seen, McClellan had a fear of Confederate forces moving up to attack Washington.  At the same time, Beauregard was realigning rebel forces to prevent a “coup de main” or swift movement relying on a single, decisive blow.  It is interesting to refer to the map and realize how far forward of Manassas Confederate troops were after Bull Run.  Keep in mind that remaining concentrated at Bull Run was not an option for any extended period of time, as animals needed grazing lane and armies could not remain long in one position.

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