September 30, 1861: New York Times


Transcript (excerpt):

Page 1, Upper Half

Our Dispatches From Washington

Washington, Sunday, Sept. 29.

The Occupation of Munson’s Hill

During last week it was so frequently reported from day to day, that our troops had taken possession of Munson’s Hill, that when last night this long predicted event took place, it found few believers among those least excited by sensation reports. A personal visit however puts the fact beyond doubt. The American flag now floats there in place of that of the rebels.

Detachments from Gen.’s Richardson’s, Keye’s and Wadsworth’s Brigades, and also from Gen. Franklin’s Division now occupy Munson’s Hill, being in command of Col. Ferry of the Fifth Michigan regiment.

Citation: New York Times. 30 September 1861. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN .N5682

September 26, 1861: Statement of a Conference at Fairfax Court House

 AMs 356-17 p1  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p2  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p3  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p4  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p5  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p6  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p7 Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p8  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi AMs 356-17 p9  Gustavus Smith 300 dpi


On the 26th of September 1861, General Joseph E. Johnston addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, in regard to the importance of putting this army in condition to assume the offensive; and suggested that his Excellency the President, or the Secretary of War, or some one representing them should at an early day, come to the Head Quarters of the Army, then at or near Fairfax Court House, for the purpose of deciding whether the Army could be reinforced to the extent that the Commanding General deemed necessary for an offensive Campaign.

His Excellency the President arrived at Fairfax Court House, a few days thereafter, late in the afternoon, and proceeded to the quarters of General Beauregard. On the same evening General Johnston and I called to pay our respects. No official subjects of importance were alluded to in that interview. At eight o’clock the next evening, by appointment of the President a conference was had between himself, General Johnston, General Beauregard, and myself. Various matters of detail were introduced by the President and talked over between himself and the two senior Generals. Having but recently arrived and not being well acquainted with the special subjects referred to, I took little or no part in this conversation. Finally, with perhaps some abruptness, I said: “Mr. President is it not possible to put this Army in condition to assume the active offensive?”: adding that this was a question of vital importance upon which the success or failure of our cause might depend. This question brought on discussion. The precise conversation which followed I do not propose to give: it was not an argument: there seemed to be little difference between us, in regard to general views and principles. It was clearly stated, and agreed to, that the military force of the Confederate States was at the highest point it could attain without arms from abroad: that the portion of this Army, present for duty, was in the finest fighting condition. That it kept inactive it must retrograde immensely in every respect during the winter: the effect of which was foreseen and dreaded by us all. The enemy were daily increasing in numbers, arms, discipline and efficiency. We looked forward to a sad state of things at the opening of a spring campaign. These and other points being agreed upon without argument- it was again asked, “Mr. President is it not possible to increase the effective strength of this Army, and put it in condition to cross the Potomac and carry the men into the enemy’s country?” Can you not by stripping other points to the least they will bear; and even risking defeat at all other places, put us in condition to move forward- success here at this time saves everything- defeat here loses all.- In explanation and as an illustration of this, the unqualified opinion was addressed, that if for want of adequate strength on our part in Kentucky, the Federal forces should take military possession of that whole state, and even enter and occupy a portion of Tennessee; that a victory gained by this Army beyond the Potomac would by threatening the heart of the Northern States, compel their Armies to fall back: free Kentucky, and give us the line of the Ohio, within ten days thereafter. On the other hand should our forces in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky be strengthened so as to enable us to take and to hold the Ohio river as a boundary: a disastrous defeat of this Army, would at once be followed by an overwhelming share of Northern invaders, that would sweep over Kentucky and Tennessee, extending to the Northern part of the cotton states: if not to New Orleans. Similar views were expressed, in regard to ultimate results in North Western Virginia being dependent upon the success or failure of this Army: and various other special illustrations were offered. Showing in short that success here was success everywhere- defeat here, defeat everywhere: and that this was the point upon which all the available force of the Confederate States should be concentrated.

It seemed to be considered by all, that our force, at that time here; was not sufficient for assuming the offensive beyond the Potomac; and that even with a much larger force, an attack upon their Army under the guard of their fortifications on this side of the river was out of the question. The President asked me what number of men were necessary in my opinion to mount an offensive campaign: to cross the Potomac; cut off the communications of the enemy with their fortified capitol; and carry the men into their country.

I answered “Fifty thousand effective seasoned soldiers”: explaining that by seasoned soldiers I meant such men as we had here, present for duty. And added that they would have to be drawn from the Peninsula, about Yorktown- Norfolk- from Western Virginia- Pensacola, or wherever might be most expedient.

General Johnston and General Beauregard both said, that a force of sixty thousand such men would be necessary: and that this force would require large additional transportation, and munitions of war: the supplies here being entirely inadequate for an active campaign in the enemy’s country even with our present force. In this connection there was some discussion of the difficulties to be overcome, and the probabilities of success: but no one questioned the disastrous results of remaining inactive throughout the winter.

Notwithstanding the belief that many in the Northern Army were opposed on principle to invading the Southern States, and that they would fight better in defending their own homes than in attacking arms: it was believed that the best is not the only plan to insure success, was to concentrate our forces, and attack the enemy in their own country. The President, I think, gave no definite opinion in regard to the number of men necessary for that purpose, and I am sure that no one present considered this a question to be finally decided by any other person than the commanding General of this Army.

Returning to the question that had been twice asked, the President expressed surprise and regret, that the number of surplus arms here was so small: and I thought spoke bitterly of this disappointment. He then stated, that at that time no reinforcements could be furnished to this army of the character asked for: And that the most that could be done, would be to furnish recruits to take the surplus arms in store here (say 2500 stand). That the whole country was demanding protection at his hands, and praying for arms and troops for defence. He had long been expecting arms from abroad but had been disappointed. He still hoped to get them, but had no positive assurances that they would be received at all: the manufacture of arms in the Confederate States, was as yet undeveloped to any considerable extent- want of arms, was the great difficulty: he could not take any troops from the points named, and without arms from abroad could not reinforce this Army. He expressed regret and seemed to feel deeply: as did every one present.

When the President had thus clearly and positively stated his inability to put the Army in the condition, deemed by the Generals necessary before entering upon an active offensive campaign: it was felt that, it might be better to run the risk of almost certain destruction, (with the force we had) fighting upon the other side of the Potomac, rather than see the gradual dying out and deterioration of this Army, during a winter, at the end of which the term of enlistment of half the force would expire. The prospect of a spring campaign to be commenced under such discouraging circumstances, was rendered all the more gloomy, by the daily increasing strength of an enemy already much superior in numbers. On the other hand was the hope and expectation that before the end of winter, arms would be introduced into the country: and all were confident, that we could then not only protect our own country, but successfully invade that of the enemy.

General Johnston said, that he did not feel at liberty, to express an opinion as to the practicality of reducing the strength of our forces, at points not within the limits of his command: and with but few further remarks from any one, the answer of the President was accepted as final, and it was fact, that, there was no other course left, but to take a defensive position, and await the enemy. If they did not advance we had but to await the winter and its results.

After the main question was dropped, the President proposed, that instead of an active offensive campaign, we should attempt certain Partial operations- a sudden blow against Sickles or Banks- or to break the siege over the Monocacy- This he thought, besides injuring the enemy, would exert a good influence over our troops, and encourage the people of the Confederate States generally. In regard to attacking Sickles it was stated in reply, that as the enemy controlled the river with their ships of war, it would be necessary for us to occupy two points on the river: one above: and another below the point of crossing: that we might by our batteries, prevent their unused vessels from interfering with the passage of the troops. In any case the difficulty of crossing large bodies over wide rivers, in the vicinity of an enemy and then recrossing: made such expedition hazardous: it was agreed however, that if any opportunity should occur offering reasonable chances of success, the attempt would be made.

During this conference or council which lasted perhaps two hours, all was earnest, serious, deliberate; the impression made upon me was deep and lasting, and I am convinced that the foregoing statement, is not only correct as far as it goes, but in my opinion it gives a fair idea of all that occurred at the time in regard to the question of our crossing the Potomac.

Centreville Va

May 31st 1862

Signed G. W. Smith

Maj. Genl.

My recollection of the above conference agrees fully with the statement of Genl. G. W. Smith

Signed G. T. Beauregard

Genl. C. S. A.

Signed J. E. Johnston



Citation:  Gustavus Woodson Smith (1822-1896), Statement of a conference at Fairfax C.H. Sept. 26th 1861. Centreville, Va, 31 May 1862. AMs 356/17

September 25, 1861: Henry and Mary Warner to John Warner

Henry and Mary Warner lived in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now part of Pittsburgh. They are the great-grandparents of poet Marianne Moore.  By the 1860s they had three surviving children:  John, Henry, and Anne. Their letters to John, a Presbyterian minister living in Gettysburg, are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers.

Moore VI-4-21 p1 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 9-25-61

Moore VI-4-21 p2 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 9-25-61

Moore VI-4-21 p3 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 9-25-61


Front Bedroom 2 ½ P.M.

Allegheny City Wednesday September 25th 1861

Our Dear Children—Alone in this room, in peace & quietness, while the busy world outside are variously employed, I take pleasure in writing to those I love. I suppose in about two weeks hence, we shall have the pleasure of seeing one of you, if not both, it is hard to say what will transpire in that two weeks, owing to the distracted state of our beloved country. Kenty & Missouri now seem to be the centre of popular attraction, while the troops on each side of the Potomac look at each other, with deadly hatred—Henry is not home yet, we have not heard from him, since the letter sent you, Robert is still with us, has not heard from Archy since he arrived, is afraid to leave for Tene as the prospect of ‘war to the knife’ between us & Shelbyville, seems to be, more & more probable every day—we are all in excellent health & spirits, tomorrow will be our national fast and also, with us, our preparation day for a communion Sabbath. As I have no news that would interest you, must tell of the getting in of our supply of coal for the coming year, on monday (day before yesterday) washday at 9 A.M. 85 Bushel came – in two loads a 40 & a 45 Bushel load—in the afternoon the same complement—amt 170 Bushels on tuesday 3 loads—45, 45, & 40—130/300 Bushels as we saw there would be room in the cellar for 40 more it was brought, that was 340 Bushel I paid the man at 5 ½– $18.70 When that was in, concluded to get 40 more bushels, while the pavement was dirty, sent word to the man, could not see him, so the pavement was scrubbed & washed off completely, when lo! I behold! the other forty bushels came, making 380 Bushels, Mother said ‘dump it down,’ in went the coal, which with about 70 Bushels of the old stock leaves us 450 Bushels on hand 380 @ 5 ½ $20.90/100 putting in sam 1 ½$– 22.40

So today, the pavement is as clean & fine as a fiddle, & no sign of coal any where, only in the cellar, the weather was delightful Monday, Tuesday & today, and we all consider it a good job over—Weather here is quite cool, provisions good & cheap, and general health good, do not hear of any cases of sickness any where about.

Kind remembrance to Jennie

Must close this short & uninteresting missive, for want of something to write about, — your affectionate father & mother

Henry & Mary Warner



Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John Riddle Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 25 September 1861. Moore VI:04:22

September 21, 1861: Photograph of Michael Reinhard



“GERMON/702 CHEST ST./PHILA.” embossed  below image.

Label on reverse: “FROM/THE PHOTOGRAPHIC GALLERY OF/ W.L. GERMON,/No. 702 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia/IVORYTYPES of all   sizes/Photographs from life or Daguerreotypes/Photographs from Miniature to Life size/Photographs Life size in Oil/Photographs   plain by the dozen/Photographs in Water Colors/Photographs in India Ink/Photographs in Pastel./DAGUERREOTYPES/Of all sizes & styles in the highest perfection of Art”.


Citation: W. L. Germon, photograph of Michael Reinhard. Philadelphia, ca. 1860. 2006.1890

September 18, 1861: New York Times


Transcript (excerpt):

Page 1, Upper Half

Reported Union Success

Gen. Sturgis in possession of St. Joseph – Reported capture of Green – Another bridge burned – Rumored evacuation of Kentucky

St. Louis, Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Gen. Sturgis, with one regiment of infantry, two companies of cavalry, and one of artillery, took possession of St. Joseph on Friday last.

It is reported that a battle took place at Lexington yesterday, between the Federal forces there and Martin Green’s rebels, in which most of the latter were captured. This needs confirmation.

Another bridge was burned on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad a day or two since, precipitating the locomotive into the stream and killing the engineer.

Reports are current here of the evacuation by the rebels of Columbus, Ky.

Citation: New York Times. 18 September 1861. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN .N5682

September 15, 1861: George McCoffin telegram to P. G. T. Beauregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Louisiana-born general of the Confederate States Army. He had graduated second in his class from West Point in 1838 and was an admirer of Napoleon. He achieved fame early in the Civil War for commanding the Fort Sumter bombardment and as the victor of the first battle of Manassas. He later served in the Western Theater (including Shiloh and Corinth), Charleston, and the defense of Richmond, but his career was hampered by friction with Jefferson Davis and other generals.


This is one of approximately 1000 military telegrams in P.G.T. Beauregard’s papers at the Rosenbach.

AMs 1168-11 1861-09-15



Charleston Sept 15 1861

Genl Beauregard,

I have written fourteenth (14th) informing you I have good cavalry horse for you or your son__shall I send it?

Geo Mc.Coffin


Citation:George McCoffin, telegram to G. T. Beauregard. Charleston, 15 September 1861. AMs 1168/11

September 14, 1861: Leroy and Matilda Pope Walker to P. G. T. Beauregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Louisiana-born general of the Confederate States Army. He had graduated second in his class from West Point in 1838 and was an admirer of Napoleon. He achieved fame early in the Civil War for commanding the Fort Sumter bombardment and as the victor of the first battle of Manassas. He later served in the Western Theater (including Shiloh and Corinth), Charleston, and the defense of Richmond, but his career was hampered by friction with Jefferson Davis and other generals.


AMs 360-20  Leroy Pope to Beauregard p1 300 dpi AMs 360-20  Leroy Pope to Beauregard p2 300 dpi AMs 360-20 Matilda Pope to Beauregard p1 300 dpi AMs 360-20 Matilda Pope to Beauregard p2 300 dpi



Richmond Sept 14 1861

My dear General

The enclosed note from my little daughter was written by her  without suggestion or alteration in any way, and the design for a flag is entirely her own conception. She has insisted so stringently on sending it to you that I did not feel at liberty to refuse her. I consent the more readily because I am sure you will appreciate it in the spirit in which it is sent.

She signs herself with the usual vanity of her sex—“daughter of the Secretary of War”—and she gives me the opportunity to say that my official connection with the Army is about to terminate, having tendered my resignation to the President a few days since.

What I have done in the office has been honestly done, and when the history of the war is written I feel that the [laggard justice?] of popular approval will be [bestirred?].

Wishing you a long life and continued success.

I am, dear General,

Most truly

Your friend

L P Walker


Gen Beauregard:

I send you a design entirely my own for a Confederate flag. I have never been satisfied with the Confederate flag because it is too much like that of the United States. I am a little girl nine years old and though I have never seen you I feel as though I know you.

Your Admirer

Matilda Pope Walker

Daughter of the Secretary of War


Citation: C. Richmond, 14 September 1861. AMs 360/20

September 13, 1861: New York Times


Transcript (excerpt):


Clarksburgh, Va. Thursday, Sept. 12.

A battle took place about 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, near Sumnerville. Gen. Rosecrans after making a reconnaissance, found Floyd’s army, 5,000 strong, with 16 field pieces, intrenched in a powerful position, on the top of a mountain at Cannix Ferry, on the west side of Gauley River. The rear and extreme of both flanks were inaccessible. The front was masked with heavy forests and a close jungle.

Citation: New York Times. 13 September 1861. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN .N5682