Monday, October 3, 2011

October 5, 1861 (Saturday): A Movement Contemplated?

General Earl Van Dorn
HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Fairfax Court-House, October 5, 1861.

Major General E. VAN DORN, Commanding Division:
GENERAL: As active operations are immediately impending, the general directs that you send without delay all heavy baggage of the regiments of your division to Fairfax Station, to be transported thence by rail to Manassas. In charge of this baggage will be sent one commissioned officer from each brigade, one non-commissioned officer from each regiment, and one trusty private from each company.
   This party is to remain at Manassas until further orders, and the officer in command will report to Brigadier-General Clark at that post..
   Your brigade quartermaster will superintend the forwarding of theirs baggage from the station, reporting to the chief quartermaster of this corps when he will be ready for a train to receive it.
   Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 5, Part 1, Page 890

An odd communication, in that no other generals recieved notice (at least in the O.R., of such "active operations immediately impending").  Van Dorn reported to Beauregard, who had many ideas for forward movements, but could not advance a plan solid enough to win endorsement from Davis or Johnston.  Within two days of Jordan sending this message, Johnston was writing of his quandry as to whether his men should pass the winter in huts or tents. 

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