Alexandria, Va., April 25, 1861

Maj. Gen. R. E. Lee:


The following communications have just been received:

Maj. John Lee, of Orange, has just been informed by Richard L. Brown, late a clerk in the Treasury Department, and just from Washington, having resigned his place, and by Mr. Curry, a friend of Mr. Brockenbridge, likewise lately resigned from his position as clerk of one of the Departments, that the Seventh Regiment has certainly arrived in Washington; that communications are open with Annapolis; that cars are constantly bringing troops, to be followed by very large bodies to the amount of twenty or twenty-five thousand troops, and that the purpose of the administration is to forage both Maryland and Virginia for supplies, and to push the war in this State. Their pickets are said to have been down below the Long Bridge last night, and it is said that Alexandria is in imminent peril of being occupied by the U. S. troops

Wm. H. Lee

April 25

Dear Steuart: We have later news from Annapolis. Twelve thousand additional troops landed there yesterday. They have possession of the city, and are sending forces on the line of the road. They say they are going to take military possession of our State permanently. Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, is reported in Annapolis, and Sumner is to follow. They are to establish a civil commission, to supersede our State government. The last troops were brought from New York, and the steamers went back for more. A movement will be made on Baltimore from north and south. It is thought Fort McHenry will be assaulted to-day. It is no time for Virginia to stand on etiquette. Let her come and capture Fort Washington. Our legislature meets at Frederick City to-morrow, Annapolis being in the hands of the enemy.

Yours, &c.,

E. W. Bell


The above is brought by one of our most reliable citizens direct. Answer immediately.

Philip St. Geo. Cocke,




Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 2, p. 779.

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 March 10