Balt[imore]: 9th June 1869
I shall be greatly obliged if you will give me as soon as possible your estimate of Jackson’s & Longstreet’s effective force at 2nd Manassas on the 29th & 30th. I have made an estimate myself, and want to verify it. My object in asking for it is to use it in a matter which may be of advantage to the cause of truth & do justice to our people. I can only say that I shall use your letter myself, nor shall your name be known in any matter connected with the subject. I shall make the statement on my own responsibility.
Fitz John Porter has written me several letters with a view to get information to get his case reopened, and says he is confident that he will be able to do so. His object is as how that he was right & Pope wrong about his getting to the battle field before Longstreet arrived, and secondly to show what L’s force was as well as J’s.
My own recollection is perfectly distinct about our fact. I had a chill at Beverly’s house the morning Gen Lee left, and followed on about 8 o’clock. The gap was clear and I came on no troops until I reached the turnpike below Gainsville. At that time, from the portion of the enemy’s batteries, Gen Lee thought they were trying to turn Jackson’s right which rested near the turnpike on the west. Longstreet’s troops were being formed on Jackson’s right & east of the turnpike, when Stuart reported the approach of troops on our right. The greater part of Longstreet’s troops were then sent to meet them coming from Manassas, which turned out to be Porter’s & were disposed parallel to the turnpike & east of it. I remember this very distinctively, but if you can give the hour when Longstreet arrived, please do so.
The force under Jackson & under Longstreet is also important.
I find from our official report of the operations down to Ox Hill, that Jackson moved from Warrenton Springs 24th Aug with the division of Ewell, A P Hill, & Jackson’s own. Longstreet took his place at Warrenton Springs, and when R H Anderson arrived on the 26th Longstreet started, leaving R H A. & stopped at Thoroughfare 28th & arrived at Manassas (2nd) mid-morning. R H A had been relieved at Warrenton S by part of McLaws’ divn under Ripley, and arrived at Manassas not long before the battle of 29th.
D H Hill & McLaws did not join until after 30th. I saw them in march after the battle as I went up to Warrenton on Sunday.
Longstreet had D R Jones1 3 brigades, Hood 2, Evans 1, (E[well] assumed to command Hood’s & his own as a divn) Wilcox 3 & Kemper 3, twelve in all. I estimate the effective infantry force of these 12 brigades on the 29th at between 30000 & 35000, say 33000.
Jackson’s had been marching & fighting since the 24th & I think 20000 effective inf[antr]y would cover his force. I put it at 25000 on the 29th. He had fought on the 26th 27th & 28th when Ewell was wounded. You know the corps were not then organized as they were afterwards. I estimate the whole effective art[iller]y at 4000, which is probably too large. The cavalry was small. I suppose 2000 effective would cover it. There were two brigades & a regiment or two.
I do not remember R H Anderson’s force but I think his troops & those of Hill DH & McLaws about supplied our losses.
Please give me your estimate as soon as possible. Where was Walker with his divn 2 brigades (his own & Ransoms) He was with us in his but I dont know when he joined.
Please let me hear from you soon
Yours very truly
Col W H Taylor
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.374
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 14
1. David R. Jones (1825-1863): Died on 1863 January 15 from heart trouble in Richmond; commanded 3 brigades at the Battle of 2nd Manassas.