Series 1, Volume 2, pp. 166-167
BUNKER HILL, VA., July 16, 1861.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report for the information of the General-in-Chief my advance and arrival at this place yesterday, opposed only by a body of six hundred cavalry, of which one was killed and five taken prisoners. Tomorrow I move upon Charlestown. A reconnaissance shows the Winchester road blocked by fallen trees and fences placed across it, indicating no confidence in the large force now said to be at Winchester. I send you a sketch, prepared by Captain Simpson, of the works said to have been erected in the vicinity of Winchester. I shall (preparations already commenced) hold and occupy Harpers Ferry with the three years troops. If the General-in-Chief desires to retain that place (and I advise it never to be evacuated), I desire to be informed at once by telegraph. I have to report that the term of service of a very large portion of this force will expire in a few days. From an undercurrent expression of feeling I am confident that many will be inclined to lay down their arms the day the term expires. With such a feeling existing any active operations towards Winchester cannot be thought of until they are replaced by three years men. Those whose terms will expire this week I shall arrange to send off by Harper’s Ferry - those for Philadelphia via Baltimore and those for Harrisburg via Hagerstown. If Harpers Ferry is to be held, after securing that I shall, if the General-in-Chief desires, advance with the remainder of the troops via Leesburg, provided the force under Johnston does not remain at Winchester, after the success which I anticipate from General McDowell. I wish to be advised if these propositions meet with the approval of the General-in-Chief. The Wisconsin regiments are without arms and accouterments, which I have directed the commander of Frankford Arsenal to provide. Telegrams will reach me via Hagerstown and also via Point of Rocks.
I am, sir. very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major- General, Commanding.
Col. E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington City.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861