• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.




On the 16th of July ‘61 the army of McDowell left their entrenched camp along the Potomac, & drove in the advance of Beauregard from Fairfax CtH on the 17th. The Federal army Consisted of about 60,000 men, including nearly all the regulars East of the Rocky Mts & 60 pieces of Arty

On the evg of the 17th Beauregard posted his forces from the Stone bridge to Union Mills a distance of eight miles. His force was about 20,000, with 30 pieces of arty his heaviest Calibre being 12 pr Howitzers. On the 18th the Federals collected their forces at Centreville & demonstrated upon the lines at Bull run at Mitchells & McLeans fords on the direct road to the junction. After reconnoitering the Country friday & saturday, he again advanced on Sunday the 21st by Sudley church 2 miles to the right of stone bridge. At the first appearance of the Federal advance Beauregard notified Genl Johnston, who on the forenoon of thursday the 18th moved with the army of the Valley, numbering about 11,000 strong to his aid. This movement was ostensibly to attack Patterson, who lay with about 20,000 men north of Winchester from Bunker hill to Smithfield. At midday they moved south through Winchester & then turned towards the fords of the Shenandoah.




Source: Checked against original document, Mary Custis Lee Papers, Mss1 L5144 a, Section 20, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 March 1

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