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Message from the Execttive of the Commonwealth,
with Accompanying Documents,
Showing the Military and Naval Preparations for
the Defence of the State of Virginia, &c. &c.:

Electronic Edition.

Virginia. Executive Dept.

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Gentlemen of the Convention:

        Justice to the Executive, and those who have been associated with him in the administration of the State Government, imperatively demands that a full detail of all that has been done, shall be submitted to the Convention, in order that it may have a place upon the public records and thus go down to posterity. The present is an occasion of deep interest and importance in the history of the State, and I trust, therefore, that this detail of facts, sustained by proofs that cannot be gainsaid or controverted will not be considered either as untimely or out of place.

        In my inaugural message, I embraced the opportunity to advise the "General Assembly," that it was their "duty to place the State in such a condition that she will be prepared at all times, and upon the shortest notice to protect her honor, defend her rights, and maintain her institutions against all assaults of her enemies. With this view, I recommend a careful revision of the militia law; and in this connection, I suggested that munitions of war be procured and provision be made for the organization of an efficient military staff." I recommended at the same time, the passage of a bill "for the organization of a brigade of minute men," and furnished the draft of a bill for the accomplishment of this object.

        On the 31st day of January, 1860, the General Assembly passed "an act making an appropriation of one hundred and eighty thousand dollars to purchase such arms, equipments and munitions as may be required for the immediate use of the State." This sum was to be expended under the direction of a Commission, to be appointed by the Executive, and consisted of Col. P. St. Geo. Cocke, Maj. Geo. W. Randolph and Col. F. H. Smith, who were appointed immediately after the passage of the act, and entered upon the discharge of their duties. No men were ever more prompt and faithful in the performance of a public duty, and their action received the approval of the General Assembly. Out of this appropriation, thirteen rifle cannon, five thousand percussion muskets, revolvers, cavalry sabres, fifty thousand pounds of powder and other articles were purchased. The entire sum was expended, as will fully appear from the report of Maj. Randolph, made to the General Assembly on the 1st day of April last, and herewith transmitted. (Appendix A.)

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        By an act passed January 29th, 1861, it was made the duty of the Colonel of Ordnance, under direction of the Governor, to procure the necessary arms, equipments and munitions of war, for the defence of the State. He is authorized, also, to contract for the manufacture of equipments and munitions, and to buy materials therefor, and to contract for altering and improving cannon and small arms, and to purchase machinery and materials therefor. The act appropriates $800,000 to accomplish these purposes. Col. Charles Dimmock was nominated to the Senate, and confirmed as Colonel of Ordnance, and immediately entered upon the discharge of his duties. His report herewith transmitted (Appendix B) will show what was done under this act. By the same act the Governor is authorized to employ an Engineer, to plan and construct coast, harbor and river defences, and to execute the same if approved by the Governor. For this position Col. Talcott was selected, and he has been most industriously and energetically employed in the discharge of his important duties. The act also provided for the construction of three arsenals in different sections of the State, and for the purposes mentioned in this paragraph, the sum of $200,000 was appropriated. Under this act the amounts appropriated could not be raised in the usual mode, by the sale of State bonds; the bonds having depreciated twenty per cent. or more, and our law prohibiting their sale at less than their par value. Hence an act was passed on the 14th day of March thereafter, authorizing the issue of one million of dollars of treasury notes. This act authorized the Governor to direct the Auditor to borrow for the State, from time to time, the sum aforesaid and to issue treasury notes therefor. Under this act the banks were authorized to discount or purchase such treasury notes.

        The Convention subsequently, by an ordinance passed April 30th, 1861, authorized the Governor to raise for the defences of the State, by treasury notes, a sum not exceeding two millions of dollars. These notes are made payable to bearer, and are redeemable one year after their dates, and when paid, are to be cancelled and re-issues are authorized for a like amount.

        In less than one week after the passage of the ordinance of secession, the Navy Department was fully and effectively organized, and the report of Capt. Barron, the officer in charge, (which is herewith transmitted and will be found in Appendix C,) shows how much has been done in an incredibly short time.

        The State has had full work for all the officers, seamen and marines embraced in this organization, and all, so far as I know or believe, have worked laboriously, cheerfully and effectively. Besides the laborious work of removing the heavy guns and other munitions from the Navy Yard to the various points on our river at which the batteries are located, we have had to construct

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the gun carriages and to provide the necessary fixed ammunition for the batteries. Those batteries are in good working order and are effectively manned. The fact that these guns weigh from five to ten thousand pounds each, with transportation essentially by land, will show the amount of labor required to get them in position.

        Besides, the steam frigate Merrimac, which had been sunk by the Federal authorities and burned to the water's edge when they deserted the Navy Yard, has been raised and is now in the naval Dry Dock undergoing repairs. An effective battery has been placed on board the frigate United States and the Navy Yard itself is well prepared for vigorous defence. At Richmond the steamer Yorktown has been nearly completed, as a war steamer, and a steam tug bought by the State has been completely fitted up. These will soon be ready to cooperate with the other military operations and will be prepared to render efficient service.

        Provisonal Army.--Appointments in the higher grades were confined to retired officers of the army who had left the service of the United States. To carry into immediate effect the provisions for recruiting, appointments were made of a number of first and second lieutenants, nearly one half of whom are graduates of the Virginia Military Institute, and they have been distributed throughout the state on recruiting service. It is now satisfactorily ascertained that while the volunteer organization is so actively pressed, as it now is, in our State, it is impossible to raise the ten thousand men proposed by the ordinance. One regiment perhaps may be raised. To give employment to the young officers, the commanding general has made good use of them in organizing and drilling the volunteers as they were received at the various camps of instruction. As many of them as may be required for this and the engineer service, may be retained with advantage until their services shall be no longer necessary--the remainder might be disbanded after organizing the companies already recruited.

        The report of Major General Lee is herewith transmitted, and I commend it to the attention of the Convention. It presents information that cannot fail to be interesting and instructive, as it shows the progress of our military matters since the ordinance of secession was passed. (Appendix D.)

        The Harper's Ferry machinery and the disposition made of it, was the subject of a previous communication and to that and the accompanying paper I refer.

        I transmit a copy of the proclamation turning over the military power of the State to the Confederate States. The terms are satisfactory, I believe, to both sides. (Appendix E.)

        The intercourse between the Council and the Executive has been of the most agreeable character. The journal, regularly

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kept, will show that their action has been characterized by a remarkable unanimity, and it is a source of satisfaction to me to know, that I have rarely felt constrained to dissent from their advice. Their services have been appreciated by me and should be appreciated by the State.

        The rule which has regulated me in making appointments was to ascertain, in the first place, whether the applicant was loyal to the State. If he was loyal, competent and efficient it was all I required. In making my selections I have not regarded old party divisions. Whether a man originally belonged to the one or the other of the old political parties, into which our people have been divided, was an inquiry that I thought unworthy of the times. We had a common interest and a common object in defending our state against the assaults of the Federal Government and my desire was to make our people a unit, if possible, for the successful prosecution of the great work which was before us. I think I can safely affirm that there is not the name of an unfaithful son of the Commonwealth upon the list, and it is cause of congratulation with me to know that they have been confirmed by the council with very general unanimity. No one was objected to, as I am informed, on the score of a want of fidelity to the State.

        The commissary, quartermaster and medical appointments were made at the earliest practicable moment after the authority was given, and although some bad appointments were made, (some of which have been removed,) the result has shown great efficiency in all these departments. The paymaster's department has also been organized, and will, I believe, prove as efficient as the others.

        When the war commenced, I was greatly embarrassed not only from my own want of knowledge in military matters, but also from the want of experienced military advisers, commanders and an organized staff corps. Under these circumstances, I was called at once to make provision for commands at the important points of Norfolk, Harper's Ferry, Alexandria and Fredericksburg. Until Gen. Lee was appointed, I was without the aid and advice of an experienced military man. If I have, under these circumstances, made blunders, it is not to be wondered at--the only wonder is that I have not committed many more.

        The State has paid out under the direction of the auditing board from the 31st day of April to the 14th day of June, the following sums, viz:

Outstanding allowances not yet presented at the Treasury, will

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add $100,000 to this sum. (Appendix F.) On the first of July, we will be required to raise $1,800,000 to pay our troops now in the field.

        Besides all these difficulties to encounter and overcome, the Executive, by law and by ordinances of the Convention, has been compelled to provide the means necessary to meet the expenditures incident to such important movements and to the exertion of such extraordinary power. At the time when the ordinance of secession was passed, there was in the treasury to the credit of the commonwealth, the sum of $384,605 25, and from that period to this, the entire amount received from the revenue of the State is about $321,617 75, making, $706,223 to meet the ordinary expenses of government and the extraordinary expenses of the war. The actual sum expended for the war alone, has been nearly two millions, and the sum necessary to meet the liabilities incurred, and not yet presented for payment, will be nearly two millions of dollars additional.

        To meet these expenditures, the General Assembly had authorized the issuing of treasury notes to the amount of one million of dollars. For this purpose the Auditor of Public Accounts had made arrangements to have the treasury notes engraved at the North, but when the plates were ready for delivery, they were seized by the Government of the United States. This occasioned delay in the execution of the notes and rendered it necessary to contract for engraving new plates here, in the city of Richmond, which could not be executed until within a few days past.

        Subsequently the Convention authorized the issue of two millions more of treasury notes, and both the law of the Legislature and the ordinance of the Convention authorized the banks to receive these notes and to discount upon them.

        Under this authority there has been raised from the banks, by giving temporary notes, payable in July, the amount of $1,854,500, which, with the amount in the treasury, has realized the sum of $2,560,723 and the government has been able to meet every engagement of the Commonwealth, so far, with the currency of the State, promptly. No creditor having to wait longer than necessary to audit and settle his accounts.

        A summary of the operations of the Executive Department since the 18th of April, 1861, shows the following results:

        1. The Navy Yard and Harper's Ferry arsenal, captured without the loss of a single life, and securing to the State property, estimated in its intrinsic value, at from $25,000,000 to $30,000,000.

        2. Upwards of 40,000 volunteers have been drawn from their peaceful pursuits, and some of them from the most distant parts of the State--have been instructed in the most elementary exercises

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of the soldier; have been armed, equipped and supplied with every necessary for active service in the field, and are now ready to defend the honor and maintain the liberties of the State.

        3. A navy department, hitherto unknown to our State organization, has been thoroughly and effectively organized. Navy batteries, numbering upwards of 320 pieces, and heavy ordnance, varying in weight from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds, have been established, the gun-carriages for the most part made, and the ammunition prepared, while upwards of 120 pieces of heavy ordnance have been forwarded to other States of the Southern Confederacy.

        4. The various staff corps, embracing commissary, quartermaster, medical and engineer departments, have been organized under ordinances passed since the 20th April, 1861, and their efficiency has not only contributed to the promptness and completeness of the preparation which has enabled us to put so large a force from our own State into the field, but to facilitate the movements and efficiency of most of those who have come to our aid from the other States of the Confederacy.

        5. And, finally, these results have been reached in due regard to an economical expenditure of the public money. The stores and other property, purchased for the military operations, have been paid for, as they were bought, and thus the credit of the State has been fully sustained.

        It is due to truth and justice that I should here record, in this recapitulation, my high appreciation of the industry, judgment and professional skill which have marked the conduct of the distinguished officer who has been called by me, with the unanimous approval of the Convention, to conduct the military and naval operations of Virginia.

        From every principle of duty and patriotism, the executive department of the State has felt called upon to cooperate cordially and heartily with the government of the Confederate States, and the policy which has controlled my action heretofore, will continue to regulate it. The great interests at stake demand the surrender of all questions of a subordinate character, in a vigorous and united effort to maintain the common rights of the South. Nothing will be left undone to advance the interests of all, and the candor, frankness and sincerity which have been exhibited by the President, assure me that harmony and concert of action will be the result. He duly appreciates the importance of the occasion, and his courage, prudence and military experience will exert a salutary influence in directing and controlling the military movements, now in progress for the protection of Virginia and the South.

        And finally, I communicate herewith, orders issued to Generals

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Carson, Taliaferro and Haymond, and also a letter acknowledging the receipt of General Harper's report of operations at Harper's Ferry. General Harper was placed in charge of the expedition against Harper's Ferry, and I regret that the orders given to him, on the 17th day of April last, have been mislaid. These orders show that I acted with the promptness and decision due to the occasion. General Harper's report will be found with these orders. (Appendix G.)




From April 1st to June, 13th, 1861.

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RICHMOND, April 1, 1861.

        SIR: I have the honor to receive, through the clerk of the House of Delegates, a resolution adopted on the 9th. ult., requesting "the Armory Commissioners to report the amount of bonds they obtained from the Board of Public Works, under the provisions of the act appropriating five hundred thousand dollars to repair the armory and to purchase arms; whether they sold the bonds; and if so, whether at par, or at what discount; and also to render an account of their expenditures; and for what purpose, giving the items and prices; and if they received the whole five hundred thousand dollars of State bonds, what part thereof has been expended, and what disposition have they made of any part thereof not expended."

        The Commissioners have received no State bonds whatever. They have certified accounts to the Board of Public Works, and have requested them to pay such accounts. The means for doing so were obtained by sale of the bonds of the State at the Treasury for their par value.

        The purchasers of the bonds were contractors who had sold arms to the State, or persons who had advanced money to contractors and others; and they, as already reported indemnified themselves for losses, by charging enhanced prices. The account to be rendered before the Board of Public Works, under a former resolution of the House of Delegates, will show the amount so charged.

        I regret that my attendance on the Convention has prevented me from furnishing a statement of this account as requested. The vouchers are ready to be submitted to the Board of Public Works, and the account, when stated, will be placed in the hands of the clerk of the House of Delegates.

        Three hundred and twenty thousand dollars were appropriated for the armory, of which a little upwards of ten thousand dollars have been expended. The appropriation for the purchase of arms was one hundred and eighty thousand dollars, and the contracts made will require it all. As yet, however, the amount expended is about one hundred and fifty-four thousand dollars.


I have the honor to be,
Your most ob't servant,


Hon. Speaker House Delegates.
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ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, June 15, 1861.

His Excellency, JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia:

        Governor,--I have the honor to hand you an abstract of issues made from the armory in this city, from the 1st of April to the 14th of June of this year, both days inclusive.

        I assume the 1st of April, because that was about the date when I commenced my duties as colonel of ordnance, and the 14th. of June, because on that day the duties of the ordnance department were divided between the chief of ordnance of the Confederacy and myself.

        Your Excellency will remember, that I had no authority, nor was there any appropriation for the purchase of arms, munitions or machines of war, until a few days prior to the act of secession. That as soon as I was authorized, and had the means to purchase, I sent Mr. Adams, the Master Armorer, to the North with bills of credit to procure such essentials as percussion cap machine, bullet machine, sabres, pistols, carbines and other articles in which the State was deficient; and that the announcement of the State's secession following so soon after his leaving here, caused him to fail in obtaining even one single article, and that he only was enabled to return here by disguising himself, and making his way as a common laborer seeking work.

        Being thus deprived of those labor-saving machines, I have had to resort to the human hands, and with but limited and crude materials to prepare our troops for the field; and as these troops took the field rapidly, and as the operatives employed in the various preparations of ammunition, gun-carriages, &c., were entirely unacquainted with the work. I hope the result will be satisfactory.

        After consulting with you, at the commencement of difficulties, I made preparation for 15,000 men, as the probable number that Virginia would be called upon to place in the field. I have, however, actually made up and issued ammunition to the amount of forty rounds to a man, for 50,000 men,--have issued 43,658 muskets, carbines and rifles, and 115 pieces of artillery, (of which fifty had to be mounted complete in this city, with eighty sets of artillery harness for four horses each,) with a due proportion of ammunition to each piece, supplying out of the above many of the troops from others of the Confederate States.

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        I, yesterday, turned over to the ordnance department of the Southern Confederacy, a laboratory with machines, fixtures and hands capable of turning out 75,000 rounds of ammunition daily, and 9,894 rounds of artillery ammunition, and 114,400 rounds of infantry ammunition ready for immediate issue.


I am sir, very respectfully,


Colonel of Ordnance of Virginia.


        C. DIMMOCK, Colonel of Ordnance of Virginia.P.S.--In addition to the above issues, about 13,000 muskets and rifles have been issued from the Virginia Military Institute;

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also, two six-pounder bronze cannon, two twelve-pounder howitzer, four six-pounder brass pieces, (cadets battery,) one Parrott rifle cannon, eight sets of artillery harness, 20,000 musket cartridges, 9,000 pounds rifle, musket and cannon powder, and 250 rounds of artillery ammunition.
C. D.

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        Sir,--I have the honor to inform your Excellency that the important duty of the naval defences of the rivers of Virginia, was assigned to the officers of the Virginia navy, on the 23d of April last.

        A few days previous, the magazine, at Norfolk, with upwards of three hundred thousand pounds of powder, and a large number of shells, was captured by Lieutenants Pegram, Sinclair and Jones. This daring and unauthorized attack, placed at the disposal of the State an amount of ammunition it would be difficult to supply, and with the cannon taken at the Norfolk yard, afforded all the materials needed for the batteries.

        The rivers of Virginia being undefended, and exposed to attack, it is due to the naval officers of Virginia to say, that they went to work to defend them, with zeal proportionate to the necessities of the case. Heavy cannon were moved to their destinations with dispatch; ammunition and projectiles provided; men instructed, and every other preparation made to repel an opposing force.

        In erecting the batteries at Sewell's Point, at Pig's Point, at Aquia Creek, and at Gloucester Point, they were attacked by armed steamers. In each case the enemy were repulsed, and the works continued and finished, in spite of their fire.

        The works on the Elizabeth, James, York and Rappahannock rivers, are so far completed as to justify the belief that they will be able to drive off any naval force that the United States Government can bring against them.

        On the Potomac river, batteries have been erected at the terminus of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Rail Road on Aquia Creek. In their incomplete state they were attacked, three times, by a superior force, and in each case Captain Lynch repulsed the enemy's steamers, with considerable loss. If the attack should be renewed, Captain Lynch is now prepared to strike a more serious blow.

        The command of the steamer Teaser, has been assigned to Lieutenant Rochelle. Two 32 pound guns have been placed upon her, and she is now employed on the defences of James river.

        Captain J. R. Tucker is fitting out the steamer Yorktown,

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with as heavy a battery as she will bear. She will be ready by the 1st of July, and will be a valuable auxiliary to the defences of James River.

        A howitzer battery, of six guns, has been organized by Lieutenant Parker. Four of the pieces are now mounted; the drill of the men is perfect, and this battery will be valuable, whether employed in the field, or in the defences of Richmond.

        The frigate Merrimac has been raised, and is now in the dry dock at Norfolk. The other sunken ships will be raised as soon as the dock is ready to receive them.

        The enclosed list, marked (A,) will show the number and calibre of the cannon at the various batteries; and that marked (B,) the number and calibre sent to the other States of the Confederacy.


I am, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,


, Captain.
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His Excellency, JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia:

        Sir,--Agreeably to your request, I submit a statement of the military and naval preparations for the defence of Virginia, from the period of her separation from the United States Government, to the date of transfer of the military operations of the State to the Confederate Government.

        Arrangements were made for the establishment of batteries to prevent the ascent of our rivers by hostile vessels. As soon as an examination was made for the selection of sites, their construction was begun, and their armament and defence committed to the Virginia navy.

        Preparations were also begun to receive into the service of the State, volunteer companies, and for organizing, arming and equipping them. Mustering officers were appointed, rendezvous established, and provision made for their subsistence and shelter.

        The primary estimate of the number of troops, of all arms required, based upon the points to be defended, amounted to 51,000 men. The estimated quota of each portion of the State has been furnished, except from the western section. Arrangements were made for calling out volunteers from the western section at the same time, and in the same manner as from the eastern section, but as yet it has been feebly responded to.

        Complete returns from the troops in the field have not, and, from the nature of things, cannot for some time be received. But from the best sources of information within our reach, the number of Virginia troops is about 35,000 men. This amount probably falls below the real number, for, referring to the report of the colonel of ordnance, it will be seen that he has issued 2,054 rifles and carbines, and 41,604 muskets, in addition to pistols and sabres to the cavalry. Thirteen thousand arms have also been issued from Lexington, making a total of 56,658. Seven thousand of those from Lexington, and several thousand from the arsenal at Richmond, have been issued to troops from other States, but many of the Virginia companies, supposed to be about 5,000 men, were armed, when received into the service of the State. Should the number of armed companies from other States not differ materially from the number of armed companies of the State, the number of Virginia troops in the field may be assumed to be about 40,000.

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        When it is remembered that this body of men was called from a state of profound peace to one of unexpected war, you will have reason to commend the alacrity with which they left their homes and families, and prepared themselves for the defence of the State.

        The assembling of the men, however, was not the most difficult operation. Provision for their instruction, subsistence, equipment, clothing, shelter and transportation in the field, required more time and labor. The carriages of the guns for river, land and field service, had to be made, with the necessary implements, caissons, battery wagons, &c.

        One hundred and fifteen guns for field service have thus been provided, from which twenty light batteries, of four guns each have been furnished with the requisite horses, harness, & . . . . . 115

        For the defence of James River; two batteries and two steamers have been provided, mounting altogether 40 guns, varying in calibre from 32 pounders to 8 and 9 inch Columbiads. Arrangements are also in progress for mounting sixty guns of different weights in the defences around Richmond, and a naval battery of six 12-pound Howitzers is in process of organization . . . . . 40

        On York River three batteries have been constructed, mounting thirty guns, of calibres similar to the guns on James River . . . . . 30

        Sites for batteries on the Potomac have also been selected, and arrangements are in progress for their construction. But the entire command of that river being in possession of the United States Government, and a larger force required for their security than could be devoted to that purpose, the batteries at Aquia Creek have only been prepared. Twelve guns are in position there . . . . . 12

        On the Rappahannock River a four gun battery of 32-pounders and eight inch Columbiads has been erected . . . . . 4

        Six batteries have been erected on the Elizabeth River, to guard the approaches to Norfolk and the Navy Yard. They mount 85 32-pounders and 8 and 9 inch Columbiads . . . . . 85

        To prevent the ascent of the Nansemond River and the occupation of the Railroad from Norfolk to Richmond, three batteries have been constructed on that river, which will mount 19 guns . . . . . 19

        The frigate United States has been prepared for a school ship, and provided with a deck battery of 19 32-pounders and 9 inch Columbiads for harbor defence. . . . . 19

        [Total] . . . . . 324

        The frigate Merrimac has been raised and is in the dry dock,

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and arrangements are made for raising the Germantown and Plymouth.

        In addition to the batteries already described, other works have been constructed for their land defence, exceeding in many instances the work on the batteries themselves. An extensive line of field works has been erected for the security of Norfolk, on the side towards the bay. Redoubts for the same purpose have been constructed at Jamestown Island, Gloucester Point, Yorktown, and across the neck of land below Williamsburg.

        I have confined myself to a general narrative of operations, and for the detail, refer you to the reports of the several chiefs of staff.


I am, Governor, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

General Commanding.

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        The delegates of the people of Virginia, in Convention assembled, having by their ordinance, passed April 25, 1861, adopted and ratified the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, ordained and established at Montgomery, Alabama, on the 8th day of February, 1861, and the State of Virginia having been, by an act of the Congress of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States, passed May 7, 1861, admitted as a State into the Confederate Governernment, and the President being, under the Constitution of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States, the commander- in-chief of the army and navy of the Confederate States, and of the militia of the several States when called into the service of the Confederate States.

        Now, therefore, I, JOHN LETCHER, Governor of the Commonmonwealth of Virginia, by and with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, do hereby transfer to the authorities of the Confederate States, by regiments, all the volunteer forces which have been mustered into the service of Virginia, and do order a like transfer to be made by regiments, battalions, squadrons and companies of all volunteer, or militia, as the same shall be formed and their services may be required.

        I further hereby transfer to the authorities of the Confederate States the command of all the officers, seamen and marines of the Provisional Navy of Virginia for service in the Confederate States.

        I do further order that all officers of the Virginia service now on duty in any of the departments of the staff, continue to discharge their respective functions under the direction and control of the President, until otherwise ordered; and that all quarter-master, commissary and medical stores belonging to the State and in charge of said officers, be turned over for the use of the Confederate States, upon proper receipts for the articles turned over, to be forwarded to the accounting officer for settlement. All monies in charge of any of the departments will be forthwith returned into the treasury of the State.

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        I do further order the provisional army of Virginia to respect and obey all lawful orders emanating from the President, or those commanding under his authority; and that the same may be incorporated, in whole or in part, into the provisional army of the Confederate States, at the pleasure of the President.

        I do further authorize the use of all public property, munitions of war, &c., captured from the United States, the machinery at Harper's Ferry excepted, by the President or those acting under his authority, for the common defence.

        Given under my hand as Governor, and under the seal of the State, at Richmond, this sixth day of June, A. D. 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth.



By the Governor:
Secretary of the Commonwealth,
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To His Excellency, JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia:

        Sir,--The amount actually paid out of the State Treasury, from the 31st of April to the present date, by orders of the Board, appointed to audit military and naval claims, is as follows:

  • For the Army . . . . . $1,737,950 49
  • For the Navy . . . . . 100,748 49
  • Total . . . . . $1,838,698 98

        Besides this there are outstanding allowances not yet presented at the Treasury, which will probably amount to $100,000 additional. These amounts do not include pay of the officers and men, the pay rolls not having yet been presented or made out. The Paymaster-general estimates the amount necessary for pay alone, to the 1st of June, at $1,000,000, for troops now in the field. Additional forces now called out will require more. He also estimates that there will be required, for commutation for clothing of the troops, and commutation for forage for officers, the sum of $841,000. Total required, $3,679,698 98.


Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Page 79


DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, Harper's Ferry, April 19, 1861.

        General,--I beg to communicate through you to Governor Letcher, that I am forwarding to Winchester, with all despatch possible, the arms and machinery at this place, retaining only such of the arms which are complete, and rescued from the burning as are thought necessary to equip the troops, imperfectly armed as they came in. There are now about thirteen hundred men here, and I expect reinforcements to the number of five hundred in a few hours, and I have information of about a thousand now on the way. It is estimated by a number of the workmen lately employed in the armory, who presented themselves to me to-day as a committee, that it would take several months to remove the machinery and other public property from this point, but I find they are much disaffected, being property holders, and therefore disposed to exaggerate the difficulties. I hope, however, that the interview impressed them with different views of their own interests, that their labor which was their support, was their most valuable interest. They will be needed wherever their works may be removed. This I believe will induce them to aid heartily in the purposes designed by the Executive. If authorised to give them assurance of employment, it would relieve me of some difficulties, and probably promote the public interest. The armory at Richmond could be put in operation at once. I make these suggestions for the consideration of the Governor.

        The information I have received in regard to the condition of affairs in Maryland, and especially the city of Baltimore, added to the appearance of men on the mountain on the Maryland side, commanding this place, induced me this morning to send an officer to the high sheriff of the county, notifying him of my distress to, and of my unwillingness to trespass upon the soil of our sister State, unless compelled by necessity, requesting him to call out the militia to maintain their neutrality. My messenger has not yet returned, and circumstances have since come to my knowledge which impelled me to order a company to occupy the heights during the night.

        My labors have been so incessant during the day that I cannot communicate more freely at present.

Page 80

        I enclose a despatch from John W. Garrett, President of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road.


Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major General Commanding.

        Brig. Gen. W.H. RICHARDSON, Adj't General, Va.

Page 81

DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, Harper's Ferry, Nov. 20, 1861.

        Dear Governor,--I have addressed you officially through the Adjutant General, and I only wish to say to you here, that you know me, and that I must necessarily be allowed to act to a great extent upon my own judgment, as to what is required by the exigencies of my position. You have honored me with a high trust, involving great responsibilities, and I will rely upon you for all needful support.

        The influences around me at Winchester, I found to be so unfriendly that I determined in a few hours to remove my Headquarters to Charlestown. But one company had arrived which I took with me, and left orders with an officer directing the troops as they came in to report to me at that place. The use of the telegraph was denied me by the operator, and the President of the road saying he was unable to get another operator, I closed the office, to prevent its being used against me. I do not doubt, however, that the mischief was done by the operator, even before my messenger returned, and that the commanding officer of the post was informed of my movements.


In haste, yours truly,


Major General Commanding.

        His Excellency, JOHN LETCHER, Governor.

Page 83


GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, Adjutant General's Office, April 17, 1861

Brigadier General JAMES H. CARSON,16th Brigade:

        Sir,--You will issue instant orders to the volunteer force of your brigade, to hold itself in readiness for service at a moment's warning, and support any movement that may be made by the State troops, upon the Arsenal and works at Harper's Ferry. They will probably be joined by the volunteers of Augusta and Rockingham, &c. If necessary, you will assume the command of the entire force.

        By order of the Commander-in-Chief.


Page 85


GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, Adjutant General's Office, April 18, 1861

General THOMAS HAYMOND, Commanding 3d Division:

        The Governor directs that you give orders to the volunteer corps, in your Division, to be ready for service at a moment's notice, and to the Brigadier Generals to be prepared for service. That you take measures effectually to prevent the passage of the Federal or any other troops from the West, Eastward on the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road.

        The Brigadier Generals of your Division are Buckner Fairfax, Preston, 10th Brigade; James H. Carson, Frederick, the 16th; James Boggs, Pendleton, 18th; C.B. Conrad, Gilmer, 20th; John J. Jackson, Wood, 23d; and Bushrod W. Price, Marshall, 24th; and to them, your orders should be addressed, promptly.

        By command.


Page 87


GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, Adjutant General's Office, April 18, 1861.

Gen. Wm. B. TALTAFERRO, Commanding 4th Division:

         Sir,--You will forthwith take command of the State troops, which are now or may be assembled at the City of Norfolk. Your immediate presence there is necessary.

        By command.


Page 89


Adjutant General's Office, April 22, 1861

Major General KENTON HARPFR:

        Sir,--The Governor has received your report and desires me to convey to you his approval of your proceedings. He directs me to inform you that a portion of your force will be probably required at Alexandria, in which case you will meet the requisition of Gen. Philip St. George Cocke, who is in command at that point.


Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Page 91




Captain H.H. COCKE--Commanding Officer.

    Fort Powhatan--Lieutenant C. ST. GEORGE NOLAND.

  • 6 Thirty-two pounders of 51 cwt.
  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.
  • 2 More thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt., and two more thirty-two pounders of 51 cwt. are to be sent for this battery.

    Jamestown Island--Lieutenant AP C.R. JONES.

  • 3 Nine-inch guns of 9,000 pounds.
  • 6 Thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.
  • 9 Eight-inch army columbiads.
  • 2 Twelve pounder army guns.

    Steam Tug "Teaser"--Lieut. J.H. ROCHELLE, Commanding.

  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.

    Steamer "Yorktown," preparing at Richmond--Commander JOHN R. TUCKER.

  • Will mount 1 Ten-inch pivot gun of 12,000 pounds.
  • Will mount 1 Sixty-four pounder ditto, of 106 cwt.
  • Will mount 6 Eight-inch broadside guns of 63 cwt.
  • Two more eight-inch guns can be mounted on this vessel and will be ordered.
  • Arrangements are now being made for mounting sixty guns of different calibres and weights, for the defences of the city of Richmond. We are now organizing a Naval battery of six twelve pounder Howitzers, four of which are now completed. They are preparing under the immediate superintendance of Lieutenant William H. Parker.

Page 92


Captain W.C. WHITTLE--Commanding Officer.

    West Point--Commander Wm. LEIGH.

  • 2 Nine inch guns of 9,000 pounds,
  • 1 Thirty-two pounder of 57 cwt.
  • 4 Thirty-two pounders of 33 cwt. are to be sent for this battery,

    Gloucester Point--Commander T.J. PAGE.

  • 8 Nine inch guns of 9,000 pounds,
  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.
  • 1 Thirty-two pounder of 33 cwt.
  • 1 Thirty-two pounder of 27 cwt.
  • 5 more thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt. are to be sent for this battery.

    Yorktown--Commander J.L. HENDERSON.

  • 2 Eight inch. Army Columbiads,
  • 4 Eight inch Army Barbette guns.
  • (Note.--Two more eight inch guns are to be sent for this battery.)


Captain W.F. LYNCH--Commanding Officer.

    Aquia Creek.

  • 2 Eight inch guns of 63 cwt.
  • 1 Parrott Rifled Field Piece, (Walker's company.)

    Potomac Creek--Lieut. WM. TAYLOR SMITH.

  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.

    Hill Battery, near to the right of Aquia Creek--Lieut. CHARLES C. SIMMS.

  • 2 Eight inch Army Columbiads on Barbette carriages.

    Simms' Point, near to the left of Aquia Creek.

  • 1 Eight inch gun of 63 cwt.,
  • 3 Parrott Rifled Pieces.
  • Masked battery.

Page 93

    Potomac Creek Bridge--Commander R.D. THORBURN.

  • 1 Eight inch gun of 63 cwt.


Captain R.G. ROBB--Commanding Officer.

    Lowry's Point--Lieut. HENRY C. LEWIS.

  • 2 Eight inch Army Columbiads,
  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.
  • Note.--Three eight inch guns of 63 cwt. have been ordered to be prepared at Norfolk for the naval defences of the Rappahannock.



  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.


    Fort Norfolk--Commander A. SINCLAIR.

  • 12 nine-inch guns of 9,000 pounds,
  • 4 thirty-two pounders of 51 cwt.

    Fort Nelson--Naval Hospital--Cammander CHARLES F. MCITOSH.

  • 2 eight-inch guns of 55 cwt.
  • 8 thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.
  • 5 thirty-two pounders of 51 cwt.

    Craney Island--Commander WM. MCBLAIR.

  • 1 ten-inch pivot gun,
  • 10 eight-inch guns of 63 cwt.
  • 6 eight-inch guns of 55 cwt.
  • 4 thirty-two pounder guns of 51 cwt.
  • Arrangements have been made for mounting thirty guns in all.

    Bush's Bluff--Boatswain YOUNG, volunteer.

  • 5 thirty-two pounder guns of 42 cwt.

Page 94

    Pinner's Point--Lieut. GEORGE W. HARRISON.

  • 6 thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.
  • 3 thirty-two pounders of 51 cwt.
  • 3 thirty-two pounders of 42 cwt.

    Sewall's Point--Commander WM. LEWIS MAURY.

  • Arrangements have been made for mounting not less than 20 guns.
  • 6 nine-inch guns,
  • 2 thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.
  • 2 thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.

    Lambert's Point--Lieut. JOHN S. TAYLOR.

  • 6 thirty-two pounders of 59 cwt.

    Barrett's Point--Lieutenant J. PEMBROKE JONES.

  • 6 Thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.

    Town Point.

  • Number and calibre of guns not reported. Arrrangements have been made for mounting five guns.

    Pig's Point--Commander R.B. PEGRAM.

  • 4 Eight inch guns of 55 cwt.
  • 4 Thirty-two pounders of 42 cwt.

    Frigate "United States"--Receiving Ship--Commander THOS. R. ROOTES.

  • Spar Deck, 3 nine inch guns of 9,000 pounds,
  • Gun Deck, 16 thirty-two pounders of 51 cwt.
  • In addition to preparing this vessel, as a school ship for drilling the men, she has been provided with the above armament for the defence of the yard and the gun park, at St. Helena.
  • The frigate "Merrimac" has been raised, and is now in Dry Dock, at Norfolk. She is valued, in her present condition, at Not less than $250,000.
  • Arrangements are now being made for raising the sloops of war "Jamestown" and "Plymouth."

        OFFICE OF NAVAL DETAIL AND EQUIPMENT, Richmond, Va., June 10, 1861.

Page 95



Sent from the Norfolk Navy Yard to North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and Georgia.


  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 42 cwt.
  • 4 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.
  • 4 Twenty-four pounders of 31 cwt.
  • 20 Thirty-two pounders of 61 cwt.
  • 10 Thirty-two pounders of 57 cwt.
  • 10 Thirty-two pounders of 46 cwt.
  • 10 Eight-inch guns of 63 cwt.
  • 20 Thirty-two pounder carronades 17 or 18 cwt.
  • 80 Guns.


  • 10 Thirty-two pounders of 42 cwt.
  • 32 Thirty-two pounders of 61 cwt.
  • 42 Guns.
  • 10 Forty-two pounders of 70 cwt. were also sent from Richmond.


  • 8 Eight-inch guns of 63 cwt.
  • 1 Nine-inch gun of 9,000 pounds.
  • 8 Thirty-two pounders of 33 cwt.
  • 4 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.
  • 21 Guns.


  • 2 Thirty-two pounders of 27 cwt.