Executive Department, April 27, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. Lee, Commanding, &c.:


Sir: You will direct to Col. T. J. Jackson to proceed to Harper’s Ferry, to organize into regiments the volunteer forces which have been called into the service of the State, and which may be assembled in the neighborhood. Direct him to report with as much dispatch as possible the number and description of the companies thus organized ; the character and condition of their arms, and the names of the company officers present for duty, and where from ; also, the names of all general, field, and staff officers now in the field in that command, that the Executive may have the information required for the proper organization of the regiments and brigades according to the ordinance of the Convention of April 21, 1861. You will place Colonel Jackson, for the present, in command of the troops in that locality, and give him such general instructions as may be required for the military defenses of the State. Direct him to make diligent inquiry as to the state of feeling in the northwestern portion of the State. If necessary, appoint a confidential agent for that purpose, but great confidence is placed in the personal knowledge of Major Jackson in this regard. If deemed expedient, he can assemble the volunteer forces of the northwest at such points as he may deem best, giving prompt information of the same. Promptness in all these matters is indispensable.

I am, very respectfully,

John Letcher



Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 2, p. 784

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 April 27