Civil War Defenses of Washington
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Washington, May
27, 1861.

All that part of Virginia east of the Allegheny Mountains and north of James River, except Fort Monroe and sixty miles around the same, will for the present constitute a new military geographical department, under the command of Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell, U.S.A., whose headquarters will be movable according to circumstances.

By order:


ORA, I, 2 (serial 2), 653-54.

Arlington, May 29, 1861.

Lieut. Col. E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I arrived here too late in the afternoon of the 27th to assume on that day formally, in orders, the command of the department, but I reported to Major-General Sandford at this place and received from him such information as to the state of affairs as he was able then to give me. I encamped the night of the 27th with the New Jersey brigade, and early on the morning of the 28th went to Alexandria and was occupied from 5 a.m. till 9 o'clock at night in examining the position occupied by the troops and looking into the condition of the men.

Defensive works under construction.–The works at Alexandria had not been commenced nor even laid out as late as 10 o'clock a.m. yesterday, nor had the plans been definitely determined upon. A want of tools in the first place, and in the second place of means of transportation for the men-from the wharf in Alexandria to the hill to be fortified, and changes made necessary by a better knowledge of the ground, were the principal causes given for the delay. Both the Michigan regiment and the New York Zouaves were bivouacked and encamped on the site, leaving but a few men in town. I trust, therefore, that the Navy Department may be requested to [retain] the Pawnee at her present station. The works at the bridge-head of the Long Bridge were progressing finely, and the report to me was that the men were working diligently. The main work covering the Aqueduct and ferry opposite Georgetown was in a fair state. The Sixty-ninth New York is the only regiment at work on it, and they seemed to me to be working admirably.

Subsistence and means of transportation.–Subsistence is furnished to the troops away from the vicinity of Alexandria by returns on the main depot in Washington. This, and the utter absence of any wagons on <ar2_654> this side, the want of means of communication on the part of some of the regiments, and the inexperience of most of the commanders, have caused the supplies to be irregularly and insufficiently furnished. One regiment has hired on its own account, out of private means, some wagons to procure its supplies. Forage has also been wanting. A depot is to be established at Alexandria, which will afford supplies to the troops in that vicinity. The depot in Washington might answer for all the others, provided the regiments be furnished with wagons to go for them. I suppose the Quartermaster's Department in Washington has not at this time enough wagons to supply the force here with its allowance for its baggage merely, which would require about 200.

For the purpose of giving greater efficiency and a better administration of affairs, I have organized the troops not now brigaded into three brigades, and placed them under the colonels ordered to report to me in their letters of appointment. If a portion of the allowance of wagons for the regimental baggage were sent on and placed under the control of the brigade commanders, I think a better state of affairs will be gained at the least cost. With a view to movements in that direction, I have directed Colonel Stone to ascertain and report the amount of rolling stock on the Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroad, and the amount of material required to place the road in working order.

I beg to request that some of the recent graduates heretofore assigned to the duty of instructing the volunteer regiments may be sent here for the same purpose and other duty. The only assistant quartermaster in the department is at Alexandria, to be in charge of the Quartermaster's and Commissary Departments. I have to request that another officer of that department, furnished with funds, be sent for duty at headquarters. The troops are occupying houses in some cases, and fields, and cutting wood for fuel. Shall not rent and compensation be paid? If so, funds are needed for that purpose, as well as the hiring of means of transportation where the same has not been furnished.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

ORA, I, 2 (serial 2), 653.

General Orders No.4

Arlington, June 27, 1861.

Statements of the amount, kind, and value of all private property taken and used for Government purposes, and of the damage done in any way to private property by reason of the occupation of this section of the country by the U.S. troops, will, as soon as practicable, be made out and transmitted to department headquarters by the commanders of brigades and officers in charge of the several fortifications.

These statements will exhibit–

1st. The quantity of land taken possession of for the several field-works, and the kind and value of the crop growing thereon, if any.

2d. The quantity of land used for the several encampments and the kind and value of the growing crop thereon, if any.

3d. The number, size and character of the buildings appropriated to public purposes.

4th. The quantity and value of trees cut down.

5th. The kind and extent of fencing, &c., destroyed.

These statements will, as far as possible, give the value of the property taken or of the damage sustained, and the name or names of the owners thereof. Citizens who have sustained any lessor damage as above will make their claims upon the commanding officers of the troops by whom it was done, or in cases where these troops have moved away, upon the commander nearest them. These claims will accompany the statements above called for.

The commanders of brigades will require the assistance of the commanders of regiments or detached companies, and will make this order known to the inhabitants in their vicinity, to the end that all loss or damage may, as nearly as possible, be ascertained, whilst the troops are now here, and by whom or on whose account it has been occasioned, that justice may be done alike to the citizen and the Government.

The name of the officer or officers (in case the brigade commanders shall institute a board) who fix the amount of loss or damage shall be given in each case.

By order of Brigadier-General McDowell:

A. A. G.

ORA, I, 2 (serial 2), 659.


Fairfax Court-House, July 18, 1861.

It is with the deepest mortification the general commanding finds it necessary to reiterate his orders for the preservation of the property of the inhabitants of the district occupied by the troops under his command.

Hardly had we arrived at this place when, to the horror of every right-minded person, several houses were broken open and others were in flames by the act of some of those who, it has been the boast of the loyal, came here to protect the oppressed and free the country from the domination of a hated party.

The property of this people is at the mercy of troops who we rightfully say are the most intelligent, best-educated, and most law-abiding of any that were ever under arms. But do not, therefore, the acts of yesterday cast the deeper stain upon them?

It has been claimed by some that their particular corps were not <ar2_744> engaged in these acts. This is of but little moment; since the individuals are not found out, we are all alike disgraced.

Commanders of regiments will select a commissioned officer as regimental provost-marshal, and ten men as a permanent police force under him, whose special and sole duty it shall be to preserve the property from depredation, and arrest all wrong-doers, of whatever regiment or corps they may be. Any one found committing the slightest depredations, killing pigs or poultry, or trespassing on the property of the inhabitants, will be reported to headquarters, and the least that will be done to them will be to send them to the Alexandria jail.

It is again ordered that no one shall arrest or attempt to arrest any citizen not in arms at this time, or search or attempt to search any house, or even to enter the same, without permission.

The troops must behave themselves with as much forbearance and propriety as if they were at their own homes. They are here to fight the enemies of the country, not to judge and punish the unarmed and helpless, however guilty they may be. When necessary, that will be done by the proper persons.

By command of Brigadier-General McDowell:

Assistant Adjutant General

ORA, I, 2 (serial 2), 743-44.


Washington, August 17, 1861.

The Departments of Washington and Northeastern Virginia will be united into one, to which will be annexed the Valley of the Shenandoah, the whole of Maryland and of Delaware, to be denominated the Department of the Potomac, under Major-General McClellan–head-quarters Washington–who will proceed to organize the troops under him into divisions and independent brigades.

By command of Lieutenant-General Scott:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 5 (serial 5), 567.


Washington, August 20, 1861.

In accordance with General Orders, No. 15, of August 17, 1861, from the headquarters of the Army, I hereby assume command of the Army of the Potomac, comprising the troops serving in the former Departments of Washington and Northeastern Virginia, in the valley of the Shenandoah, and in the States of Maryland and Delaware. The organization of the command into divisions and brigades will be announced hereafter.

The following-named officers are attached to the staff of the Army of the Potomac:

Maj. S. Williams, assistant adjutant-general.
Capt. A. V. Colburn, assistant adjutant-general.
Col. R. B. Marcy, inspector-general.
Col. T. M. Key, aide-de-camp.
Capt. N. B. Sweitzer, First Cavalry, aide-de-camp.
Capt. Edward McK. Hudson, Fourteenth Infantry, aide-de-camp.
Capt. Lawrence A. Williams, Tenth Infantry, aide-de-camp.
Maj. A. J. Myer, signal officer.
Maj. Stewart Van Vliet, chief quartermaster.
Maj. H. F. Clarke, chief commissary.
Surg. C. S. Tripler, medical director.
Maj. J. G. Barnard, chief engineer.
Maj. J. N. Macomb, chief topographical engineer.
Capt. C. P. Kingsbury, chief of ordnance.
Brig. Gen. George Stoneman, volunteer service, chief of cavalry.
Brig. Gen. W. F. Barry, volunteer service, chief of artillery.

Major-General, U. S. Army.

ORA, I, 5 (serial 5), 575.


Near Alexandria Seminary, Va., March 17, 1862.


Brig. Gen. James S. Wadsworth, having been assigned to duty by the direction of the President as military governor of the District of Columbia, will, besides the military command of the city of Washington, assume the charge of the defenses north and south of the Potomac in the vicinity of Washington. The limits of his command will embrace the District of Columbia, the city of Alexandria, the ground in front of and in the vicinity of the defensive works south of the Potomac from the Occoquan to Difficult Creek, and the post of Fort Washington. He will have charge of the provisional brigades, composed of new troops arriving in Washington, and will exercise supervision over troops in the city. By command of Major-General McClellan:

Assistant Adjutant-General

ORA, I, 12, Part 3 (serial 18), 6.


Washington, August
14, 1862.

* * * * * * * * * *

II. Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard, U.S. Volunteers, is relieved from duty <ar18_573> in the Army of the Potomac, and assigned to the command of the fortifications surrounding Washington. He will report for instructions at the Headquarters of the Army.

* * * * * * * * * *

By order of the Secretary of War:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 12, Part 3 (serial 18), 572.

HDQRS. OF THE Washington,
19, 1862.

I. Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard, U.S. Volunteers, is hereby placed in command of the fortifications around Washington and of the troops which are assigned for their defense.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Halleck:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 12, Part 3 (serial 18), 602.

Washington, August 20, 1862.

I. In virtue of Special Orders, No. 196, from the Headquarters of the Army, dated at Washington, August 19, 1862, Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard assumes the command of the fortifications of Washington and troops assigned to the defenses.

II. The fortifications and troops on the south side of the Potomac will remain under the immediate command of Brig. Gen. A. W. Whipple; those on the north side under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Haskin, aide de-camp, through whom all orders will be transmitted and to whom commanding officers will make their usual reports.

* * * * * * * * * *

Brigadier-General, Commanding Defenses of Washington.

ORA, I, 51, Part 1 (serial 107), 751.


Washington, August
20, 1862.

* * * * * * * * * *

2. Brig. Gen. A. W. Whipple will remain on duty in connection with the defenses of Washington.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Halleck:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 51, Part 1 (serial 107), 748.

WASHINGTON, September 2, 1862.

General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I inclose you a copy of the order I have just issued, relinquishing command, &c.

A detailed statement will be sent of troops and positions, but for your present convenience I would state that at the present moment the state of things is this: General D. P. Woodbury is in command of forts and troops from Fort Blenker to Fort Lyon. In Fort Lyon is the Third Battalion New York Artillery and the Twenty-fourth Michigan (raw). In Forts Ellsworth, Ward, and Blenker is part of Colonel Tyler's regiment.

The other troops assigned to Woodbury are: Engineer Brigade, Colonel Allabach's four regiments, General E. B. Tyler's brigade, Sixteenth Connecticut Regiment (in or near Fort Worth).

Brig. Gen. A. W. Whipple commands forts and troops from Four Mile Run northward, including the Chain Bridge. A statement already in the hands of General McClellan gives a list of garrisons and troops. The Fifteenth Connecticut is to be added (by your orders), and is now over there. Colonel Doubleday has immediate command at the Chain Bridge, under General Whipple.

The forts and troops north of the Potomac are in charge of Colonel Haskin, aide-de-camp. A list of the garrisons and troops is in the hands of the major-general commanding.

I am, very respectfully, your most obedient,


ORA, I, 12, Part 3 (serial 18), 83.


Washington, September 7, 1862.

I. Brig. Gen. D. P. Woodbury is assigned to the command of all the forts beyond the Eastern Branch, north of the Potomac.

During the absence of the major-general commanding from Washington, the immediate command of the defenses of the capital is assigned to Major-General Banks, who, while exercising said command, will be relieved temporarily from the command of his corps.

II. Brig. Gen. S. D. Sturgis is temporarily relieved from duty with Porter's corps, and ordered to report to General Burnside.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General McClellan:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 19, Part 2, p 202.


September 8, 1862.

I. In compliance with Paragraph VII of Special Orders, No. 4, of the 7th instant, from the headquarters of Major-General McClellan, the undersigned hereby assumes the immediate command of the defenses of the capital during the absence of the general commanding from Washington.

* * * * * * * * * *

III. With the permission of Major-General McClellan, Capt. Richard B. Irwin, aide-de-camp to the general commanding, will act as assistant adjutant-general of this command.


ORA, I, 19, Part 2 (serial 28), 214.

September 9, 1862.

Maj. Gen. S. P. HEINTZELMAN, Fort Lyon:

By direction of the President, you will at once assume command of all the troops for the defense of Washington south of the Potomac, under the general order of the major-general commanding the Defenses of Washington. The General-in-Chief desires that you will establish your lines of battle in addition to the defenses of the works, and will see that lines of communication are kept open in their rear, so that any point of attack may be readily re-enforced. Great care should be taken to establish the outposts, and to have the picket service efficiently performed. Please acknowledge.

By command of Major-General Banks:

Captain, Aide-de-Camp, and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

ORA, I,19,Part 2 (serial 28), 228.


September 12, 1862.

* * * * * * * * * *

3. Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard is assigned to the command of the troops for the immediate defense of Washington north of the Potomac. Brig. Gen. D. P. Woodbury, commanding defenses east of the Eastern Branch, and Lieut. Col. J. A. Haskin, commanding defenses west of the Eastern Branch, will at once report to General Barnard for orders.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Banks:

Captain, Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, 51, Part 1 (serial 107), 825.

Washington, September 13, 1862.

Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

Upon further consultation with the General-in-Chief, he has authorized me to assign General Barnard to duty as chief engineer of all the defenses from the 3d instant, leaving the question of command on the north side as it was previously under Woodbury and Haskin. I have to-day issued orders to that effect. In regard to General Barnard, the arrangement now conforms to the wishes of the commanding general.

I hear from Baltimore that the rebels left Westminster about noon yesterday, going toward Uniontown and Smithsburg. They were, it is said, 400 strong and two pieces of cannon, and said they would be back in stronger force in a few days. This I think has been already communicated. What news have you?


ORA, I, 19, Part 2 (serial 28), 283.


HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN.'S OFFICE, Washington, September 15, 1862.

* * * * * * * * * *

III. Brig. Gen. W. F. Barry, U.S. Volunteers, inspector of artillery, <ar28_302> his assistant and staff, are assigned to duty in the city of Washington, D.C., to date from 1st instant.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Halleck:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 19, Part 2 (Serial 28), 301-02.


September 15, 1862.

I. The military governor of Alexandria will immediately organize a camp of convalescents, stragglers, and recruits, under the following regulations:

II. All officers absent from their regiments without a proper pass, approved by their division commander, will, if their regiments are stationed in or near Washington, be ordered to join them, in arrest, and the fact will be duly reported to division commanders by the provost-marshal. (See Paragraph III, of General Orders, No. 2, from these headquarters.)

III. Every officer absent from his regiment without a proper pass, and whose regiment is not near Washington, will be ordered by the officers of the provost guard to report in person to the provost-marshal, who will direct him, in writing, either to proceed to join his regiment within twenty-four hours, or within the same period to proceed to Alexandria, and report to the military governor of that place for duty at the convalescent camp. Such an order is sufficient authority to pass the guards at the bridge or ferry to Alexandria.

IV. All enlisted men arrested for being absent without a proper pass will, if their regiments are near Washington, be proceeded with as directed by General Orders, No. 2, from these headquarters. If their regiments are not near Washington, they will be sent, in squads, once each day, under guard, to the military governor of Alexandria, who will place them in the convalescent camp.

V. The military governor of Alexandria will enforce the same regulations so far as regards that city.

VI. The military governor of the District of Columbia will cause daily lists of the officers so ordered to report to be furnished to the military governor of Alexandria. The military governor of Alexandria will cause a complete register to be kept of all officers ordered to report at, and a separate register of all enlisted men sent to, the convalescent camp, and will communicate daily to the military governor of the District of Columbia the names of all officers who should have reported to him within the past twenty-four hours but who have failed so to report, and he will transmit weekly to each division commander a transcript of the register for the past week, so far as relates to his division.

VII. All recruits arriving for regiments which are not near Washington will be sent to the convalescent camp.

VIII. As far as practicable, the convalescents, stragglers, and recruits will be organized in squads, according to divisions or corps, each squad in charge of an officer from the division or corps. A competent officer should be assigned to the command of the camp.

IX. Shelter will be provided for the officers and men, and rations for the men.

X. All enlisted men received at the convalescent camp who are without haversacks, canteens, and blankets will be supplied with them, and <ar28_303> such men as are fit for active service will be armed before joining their regiments.

XI. A consolidated morning report of the convalescent camp, stated, as far as practicable, by divisions, will be made to these headquarters on the 10th, 20th, and last days of the month.

XII. Orders will be given from these headquarters, from time to time, as opportunity offers, for forwarding the officers and men to their regiments.

By command of Major-General Banks:

Captain, Aide-de-Camp, and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

ORA, I, 19, Part 2 (Serial 28), 302-03.

WASHINGTON, October 13, 1862.

Capt. J. D. KURTZ,
In Charge of Engineer Bureau:

CAPTAIN: By order, already known to the Engineer Department, I was relieved from duty with the Army of the Potomac, and placed in command of fortifications of Washington and troops assigned to their defense. When the different armies fell back upon Washington, and general command of troops and defenses was given to General McClellan, I relinquished all command (September 3), and by Special Orders, No. 4, Headquarters Defenses of Washington, September 13, 1862, I was assigned to duty as chief engineer. As such, I have been engaged in completing the system of defensive works around Washington. The inclosed extract of a letter to Col. J. C. Kelton, assistant adjutant-general, will inform the department as to the condition of the works.(*)

Capt. B. S. Alexander (lieutenant-colonel and aide-de-camp) has been, and is, assisting me–the only officer of the corps on duty with me. Capt. H. L. Abbot, Topographical Engineers, returned from sick leave and reported for duty to me on the 25th of September, and remains on duty with me, superintending the erection of exterior works about Fort Lyon.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Chief Engineer Defenses of Washington.

ORA, I, 19, Part 2 (serial 28), 420.


December 6, 1862.

I. Pursuant to instruction from the commanding general, the District of the Defenses of Washington south of the Potomac will be discontinued. All the reports and returns now required will be forwarded to these headquarters.

II. The following-named officers will be transferred to these headquarters for duty, in addition to the present staff, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly: Lieut. Col. Solon H. Lathrop, assistant inspector-general; Lieut. Col. Elias M. Greene, chief quartermaster; Capt. Joshua Norton, assistant quartermaster; Lieut. Col. Samuel McKelvy, commissary of subsistence; Maj. Leavitt Hunt, aide-de-camp; Capt. Granville E. Johnson, aide-de-camp; Capt. Henry Norton, aide-de-camp; Capt. E. C. Sturges, commander of ambulance corps, and Lieut. E. P. Deacon, volunteer aide.

III. Brig. Gen. J. J. Abercrombie may transfer his headquarters to the Arlington house.

By command of Major-General Heintzelman:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 21 (serial 31), 836.


HDQRS. DEPT. OF WASHINGTON, 22D A. C., February 7, 1863.

I. The Defenses of Washington, having, by General Orders, No. 26, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, February 2, 1863, been changed to the Department of Washington and the Twenty-second Army Corps, will hereafter be known as such.

II. The staff of the department will be as announced for the Defenses of Washington. All reports and returns will be made, as heretofore, to these headquarters.

By command of Major-General Heintzelman:

Assistant Adjutant General.

ORA, I, 25, Part 2 (serial 40), 60.


April 17, 1863.

In obedience to Special Orders, No. 58, headquarters Department of Washington, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the division heretofore commanded by Major-General Casey. (*)


ORA, I, 25, Part 2 (serial 40), 224.


Near Fort Ward, Va., April 17, 1863.

I. The Second New York Heavy Artillery, Fourth New York Heavy Artillery, and Sixteenth Virginia Volunteers, are hereby temporarily attached to the command of Colonel Tannatt.

II. This command will hereafter be designated as the "Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac."

By order of Brig. Gen. Robert O. Tyler:

Second Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 25, Part 2 (serial 40), 224.


Arlington, May 25, 1863.

In compliance with orders received from headquarters Department of Washington, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac.


ORA, I, 25, Part 2 (serial 40), 525.


May 23, 1863.

* * * * * * * * * *

4. Brig. Gen. G. A. De Russy, U.S. Volunteers, is hereby assigned to the command of the Defenses south of the Potomac, headquarters Arlington house. Col. T. R. Tannatt, on being relieved, will assume command of his regiment.

By command of Major-General Heintzelman:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 51, Part 1 (serial 107), 1042.


Arlington, May 25, 1863.

In compliance with orders received from headquarters Department of Washington, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Defenses of Washington South of the Potomac.


ORA, I, 25, Part 2 (serial 40), 525.


Washington, August
29, 1863.

* * * * * * * * * *

13. Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard, U.S. Volunteers; Brig. Gen. G. W. Cullum, U.S. Volunteers, and Col. B. S. Alexander, additional aide-de-camp (major of Engineers), will constitute a Board of Engineers to examine and report upon the proper means of defending the works of the Potomac Aqueduct, as connected with the defense of Washington.

* * * * * * * * * *

By order of the Secretary of War:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 29, Part 2 (serial 49), 111.


Washington, November
9, 1863.

* * * * * * * * * *

III. A Board of Officers, to consist of Brig. Gen. W. F. Barry, U.S. Volunteers, lieutenant-colonel First U. S. Artillery; Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard, U.S. Volunteers, lieutenant-colonel U.S. Engineers; Brig. Gen. G. W. Cullum, U.S. Volunteers, lieutenant-colonel U. S. Engineers; Brig. Gen. G. A. De Russy, U.S. Volunteers, captain Fourth U.S. Artillery; and Lieut. Col. B. S. Alexander, additional aide-de-camp, major U.S. Engineers, will meet in this city on the 10th day of November, 1863, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to examine and report upon the armaments of the works constituting the defenses of Washington.

The Board will report upon the points to be presented to them in a letter of instructions, and will make any other recommendations which in their judgment may seem proper.

The Chiefs of Engineers and of Artillery will furnish all information required by the Board, and the report of the Board will be submitted to them for comment or approval.

The junior member will record the proceedings.

* * * * * * * * * *

By order of the Secretary of War:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 29, Part 2 (serial 49), 443.


WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, February 2, 1864.

The following regulations for the care of field-works and the government of their garrisons, prepared by Brigadier- General Barry, inspector of artillery, U.S. Army, are published for the government of all concerned:

1. It is the duty of the commanding officer of each work' to provide for the care of the armament and the safety and serviceable condition of the magazines, ammunition, implements, and equipments; and by frequent personal inspections to secure the observance of the rules prescribed for this purpose.

2. The fixed armament, consisting of the heavy guns and those the positions of which are prescribed, will be numbered in a regular series, commencing with the first gun on the right of the entrance of the main gate. Where there are platforms temporarily unoccupied by guns they will be numbered in the regular series. The ammunition will be kept in the magazines, with the exception of a few stand of grape, canister, and solid shot, which will be piled near the guns.

3. The gun carriages will be kept clean and all axles and journals well lubricated. They will be traversed daily, and never be allowed to rest for two successive days on the same part of the traverse circle. If the gun carriage does not move easily on the chassis the tongue will be occasionally greased. The upper carriage should not rest habitually on the same part of the chassis.

4. The elevating screw and its box will be kept clean and well greased. When the guns are not in use the screw will be run down as far as it will go, the breech of the piece being first raised until the muzzle is sufficiently depressed to prevent water running into it, and kept in that position by a wooden quoin or block. The tompion should be kept in the muzzle and the apron over the vent.

5. The piece is not to be kept habitually loaded. It will be time to load when the enemy appears, or when special orders to that effect are given.

6. The commanding officer will see that a shed is constructed for the implements and equipments. For each drill these will be issued to the gunners by the ordnance sergeant, or other non-commissioned officer acting as such, who will receive and put them away after the drill is over, and be at all times responsible to the commanding officer for their safety and serviceable condition, and that the supply is adequate. When sheds cannot be provided, the implements will be kept near the pieces or in the bombproofs. The equipments (haversacks, <ar125_62> tube pouch, &c.) may be kept at the entrance of the magazine, where they will be sheltered. Platforms for projectiles will be laid near the guns; for canisters, a couple of pieces of scantling for skids will answer. A watershed, made by joining two beards together at the edges, should be placed over them. When the wooden sabots become wet they swell and burst the canisters, so that they cannot be put into the gun. When this happens dry the sabot until it shrinks sufficiently for the canister edges to be brought together and tacked.

7. When not supplied by the Engineer Department materials for constructing the sheds and for skidding will be furnished by the Quartermaster's Department, on requisitions made to the Chief of Artillery.

8. The magazines must be frequently aired in dry weather. For this purpose the ventilators and doors must be opened after 9 a.m., and must be closed at latest two hours before sunset. The ammunition for different classes of guns will be carefully assorted, and the shelves, boxes, or barrels containing each kind plainly marked. When there is more than one magazine the ammunition will be so distributed as to be near to the particular guns for which it is provided. Cartridges must be moved, and, if necessary, rolled once a week to prevent caking of the powder. In doing this care must be taken not to pulverize the grains. Friction-primers must be kept in the tin packing boxes and carefully protected from moisture. They will be frequently examined and dried by exposure to the sun. This must always be done immediately after wet weather of long continuance. The supply of friction-primers for each gun must be 50 per cent. greater than the number of rounds of ammunition provided for it. A dozen primers will always be kept in the tube pouches in use at each gun. Three lanyards will be provided for each gun, one of which will be kept in store, the other two in the tube pouches. As soon as received the hooks will be tested to see if they are sufficiently small to enter the eye of the primer, and yet strong enough for use.

9. In order that practice may be had in the use of friction-primers, authority is given to expend on drill five per gun each month. These primers will always be taken from those longest at the post.

10. There should be one lantern for every three or four guns, and two good globe lanterns for each magazine.

11. No person will be allowed to enter the magazine except on duty, and then every precaution against accidents will be taken. Lights must always be in glass lanterns, and carried only by the person in charge of the magazine. Swords, pistols, canes, spurs, &c., will not be admitted, no matter what may be the rank of the person carrying them. Socks or moccasins will be worn, if they can be procured; if they cannot, then all persons must enter with stocking-feet. No fire or smoking will be allowed in the vicinity when the doors or ventilators are open. Too many precautions cannot possibly be taken to avoid the chances of an explosion. A copy of this paragraph, legibly written, will be conspicuously posted near or on the door of every magazine.

12. Companies will be assigned to guns in such proportions as will furnish at least two, preferably three, reliefs in working them, and sufficient men in addition for supplying ammunition from the magazines. From fifteen to twenty men should therefore be assigned to each gun and instructed in its use. Companies should habitually serve the same guns, each man being assigned a special number at the gun, and thoroughly instructed in all its duties. As occasion <ar125_63> offers, all of the officers and enlisted men should be instructed at each of the different kinds of gun at the post, as well as in the duties of all the numbers at each gun. Every night at retreat or tattoo the men who are to man the guns in case of a night attack should be paraded at their pieces and inspected, to see that all their equipments, implements, and ammunition are in good order, and the guns in serviceable condition and easy working order. The men so stationed should "call off" their numbers before being dismissed. In case of alarm at night all should repair at once to their posts, equip themselves, and await orders, without losing time by forming upon their company or battalion parade grounds.

13. Each gun should be under charge of a non-commissioned officer, and to every two or three guns should be assigned a lieutenant, who will be responsible to the captain for their serviceable condition at all times. The captain will be responsible to the commanding officer for the condition of the pieces and the instruction of the men of his company. Artillery drills will be frequent until all of the men are well instructed, and there will never be less than one artillery drill per day when the weather will permit, nor will any officer be excused from these drills unless it is unavoidable. For action, all the cannoneers not actually serving the guns will be provided with muskets, and will be stationed near the guns to which they belong, for service on the banquettes or elsewhere, in case of assaults.

14. Each company should be supplied with three copies of the Tactics for Heavy Artillery, and rigidly adhere to its directions. Tables of ranges will be found in the work. One copy of Instructions for Field Artillery should be supplied to each company. All authorized books can be obtained on written application to the chief of artillery, who will obtain them from the Adjutant-General of the Army. The books so drawn are the property of the United States for the use of the company, and will be accounted for on the muster-rolls.

15. The commanding officer will make himself conversant with the approaches to his work, the distance to each prominent point commanded by his guns, the nature of the ground between them and his post, and the most probable points of attack upon it. He will also make it his duty to see that all of his officers, and, as far as possible, his noncommissioned officers, are thoroughly acquainted with these matters. The distances will be ascertained by actual measurement and not left to conjecture. Tables of ranges or distances for each point, and the corresponding elevation, according to the nature of the projectile, with the proper length or time of the fuse, when shell or case-shot are used, will be made out for each gun and furnished to the officer and non-commissioned officers serving it. These tables should be painted upon boards and securely fastened in a conspicuous place near the gun. As these tables differ for different kinds of gun, the same men should be permanently assigned to the same piece.

16. The projectiles should be used in their proper order. At a distance, solid shot; then, shells or case-shot, especially if firing at troops in line; canister or grape is for use only at short ranges. When columns are approaching so that they can be taken in direction of their length, or very obliquely, solid shot is generally the best projectile, because of its greater accuracy and penetrating power. If the column consists of cavalry, some shells or case-shot will be useful, from the disorder their bursting produces among the horses; but shells and case-shot should not be used against any troops when moving rapidly. <ar125_64>

The absolute distances at which the projectiles can be used with effect vary with the description and caliber of the gun, and can be ascertained only by consulting the tables of ranges. The prominent points on the approaches to the works should be designated, their distances noted, and directions drawn up for the different kinds of ammunition to be used at each gun for these different points. During the drills the attention of the chief of pieces and gunners should be frequently drawn to this subject.

17. Commanding officers will pay special attention to the police and preservation of the works. All filth will be promptly removed and the drainage particularly attended to. No one should be allowed to walk on the parapets, or move or sit upon the gabions, barrels, or sand-bags that may be placed upon them. When injuries occur to the earth-works they should be repaired as quickly as possible by the garrison of the work. If of a serious nature, they should be at once reported to the engineer officer in charge of the work. All injuries to the magazines or platforms of the guns will be promptly reported as soon as observed: The abatis, being a most important portion of the work, must be always well looked to and kept in perfect order.

18. Special written or printed instructions as to the supply of ammunition at the different posts, and the proportion for the different classes of guns, will be furnished by the chief of artillery to the commanders of posts. Instructions will also be furnished as to the special objects of each work, on proper application for this purpose to the chief engineer or chief of artillery.

19. No person not officially connected with the garrisons of the field-works will be allowed to enter them, except such as visit them on duty, or who have passes signed by competent authority; nor will any person except commissioned officers, or those whose duty requires them to do so, be allowed to enter the magazines, or touch the guns, their implements, or equipments.

20. The garrison can greatly improve the work by sodding the slopes of the parapet, and those of the ramps and banquettes, or by sowing grass seed on the superior slope, first covering it with surface soil. The grass-covered or sodded portions of the parapets, traverses, magazines, &c., should be occasionally watered in dry weather and the grass be kept closely cut. Early in the spring and late in the autumn they should be covered with manure.

21. As a great deal of powder is wasted in unnecessary salutes, attention is called to paragraph 268 of Army Regulations, edition of 1861-1863:

268. A general officer will be saluted but once in a year at each post, and only when notice of his intention to visit the post has been given.

22. The practice of building fires on the open parades, for cooking and other purposes, is prohibited, as it endangers the magazines.

23. The armament of a fort having been once established, will not be changed except by authority of the commander of the district, geographical department, or army corps, and then only on consultation with the chiefs of engineers and artillery.

24. The machinery of the Whitworth, or other breech-loading guns, will not be used except by special orders from the commanding officer of the post.

25. Experience having conclusively shown that rifled guns, of large caliber especially, must be subjected to most careful treatment and skillful management in order to secure their maximum efficiency, <ar125_65> both in range and penetration, and especially their maximum endurance, the attention of all officers using rifled guns of large calibers is called to the following rules: Sponges well saturated with oil shall alone be used; and for this purpose the necessary supply of oil shall be provided for all batteries of position in which rifled guns form the part or whole of its armament. A little grease or slush upon the base of the projectile adds much to its certainty, and should be always used when possible. The bores of the guns should be washed, and the grooves cleaned of all residuum and dirt subsequent to the firing, after the gun has cooled. Great care must be taken to send the projectile home in loading, that no space may be left between the projectile and the cartridge.

Before using shells, unless already loaded and fused, they must be carefully inspected both on their exterior and interior, and scrapers should be used to clear the cavity of all molding sand before charging the shell. Special attention should be given to the insertion of the fuses, and the threads of the fuse-hole should be carefully cleaned before screwing in the fuse. In all Parrott projectiles it should be carefully observed that the brass ring or cup is properly wedged, and that, in the case of the ring, the cavities between it and the projectile are not clogged with dirt or sand.

In leading shells care will be taken to fill them entirely with powder, leaving no vacant space after the fuse is screwed in.

For the 10, 20, and 30 pounder Parrott guns powder of too large a grain should not be used. The best powder for the projecting charge of these guns is what is called "mortar powder."

26. Pole-straps and pole-pads of field limbers, not belonging to horse batteries, are to be kept in the implement room or in the trays of the limber chest. They should be occasionally washed and oiled, as prescribed for the care of harness in Field Artillery Tactics.

27. The forts will be inspected daily by their commanding officers; and by the brigade, division, district, or department commanders, and by the chief of artillery, as frequently as possible. Particular attention will be paid at all inspections to the drill and discipline of the garrison and police of the work; to the condition of the armament, ammunition, and magazines, and as to whether the proper supply of ammunition, implements, &c., is on hand at the post.


1. The firing in action should be deliberate–never more than will admit of accurate pointing. A few shots effectively thrown is better than a large number badly directed. The object in killing is to inspire terror so as to deter or drive off the enemy, and precision of fire and consequent certainty of execution is infinitely more important in effecting this than a great noise, rapid firing, and less proportional execution.

2. To secure accuracy of fire the ground in the neighborhood must be well examined, and the distance to the different prominent points within the fields covered by each gun measured and noted. The gunners and cannoneers should be informed of these distances, and in the drills the guns should be accurately pointed at the objects noted in succession, the gunner designating it, calling the distance in yards, and the corresponding elevation in minutes and degrees, until all the distances and corresponding elevation are familiar to the men. ´5 R R– SERIES III, VOL IVª <ar125_66>

When hollow projectiles are used the time of flight corresponding to the distance must be given to the man who goes for the projectile. He tells the ordnance sergeant, or the man who furnishes the ammunition, and the latter cuts the fuse to burn the required time.

3. The gunner is responsible for the aiming. He must therefore know the distance to each prominent object in the field covered by his gun, the elevation required to reach that point, and the time of flight of the shell or case-shot corresponding to each distance or elevation. He must have a table of these ranges, taken from the Heavy Artillery Tactics, pages 236 to 247 (edition of 1862). (a)

4. These tables will be promptly prepared under the direction of the commanding officer, and copies furnished for each gun and used habitually in the drills. They will be examined and verified by the chief of artillery.

5. The attention of all officers in charge of artillery in the works is directed to the articles in the Tactics on "Pointing guns and howitzers," "Night firing," &c., pages 76 to 90.

6. Commanding officers of the works will keep themselves accurately informed of the amount and kinds of ammunition in the magazines. The supply must always be kept up to the amount prescribed by the chief of artillery or other competent authority. When it is less than that amount a special report of the fact will be made to the chief of artillery, with requisitions for the ammunition necessary to complete the supply. Commanding officers will also see that the necessary equipments are always on hand for the service of all the guns, as prescribed in the tactics or in general orders.

7. Hand grenades are intended to be used against the enemy when he has reached such parts of the defenses (the bottom of the ditch, for example) as are not covered by the guns or by the muskets of the infantry posted on the banquettes.

8. After the enemy has passed the abatis and jumped into the ditch hand grenades will be used; and then if he mounts the parapet he must be met there with muskets. A resolute defense against assault must also be made by posting men with muskets so as to fire over the tops of traverses, bombproofs, or magazines.

(a) NOTE.–(The last table on page 240 should read 8-inch sea-coast howitzer on barbette carriage, instead of 8-inch seacoast mortar.)

For example: The cartridges for the 24-pounder guns all weigh six pounds, as issued in the Defenses of Washington. The table (p. 236) therefore applies as follows:

Twenty-four-pounder gun on siege or barbette carriage.

6Shot00412That is, the bore (not line of sight) being level, a range of 400 yards.
6do108421 degree elevation, range about 850 yards.
6do1309531 _ degrees elevation, range about 950 yards.
6do201,1472 degrees elevation, range about 1,150 yards.
6do301,4173 degrees elevation, range about 1,400 yards.
6do401,6664 degrees elevation, range about 1,660 yards.
6do501,9015 degrees elevation, range about 1,900 yards. The extreme range of 24-pounder round shot.

Thus, supposing the enemy at a point 1,000 yards distant, by looking at the table it will be observed that 950 yards require 1° 30' elevation; 1,150 yards require 2°; therefore, elevate a very little–5' to 10' over 1° 30', or simply give 1° 30' full.

By command of Major-General Halleck:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, 3, 4 (serial 125), 61-67.


May 18, 1864.

1. Until further orders the forces in the defenses north of the Potomac will be constituted as follows: The troops now occupying the line formerly held by the First Brigade, from Fort Lincoln to Fort Stevens, inclusive, will be designated as the First Brigade, under the command of Colonel Hayward, One hundred and fiftieth Ohio National Guard, to whom reports on that line will be made <ar70_484>

2. The troops now occupying the line formerly held by the Second Brigade, from Fort De Russy to Battery Cameron, inclusive, will be designated as the Second Brigade, under the command of Colonel Miller, One hundred and sixtythird Ohio National Guard, to whom reports on that line will be made.

3. The troops now occupying the line formerly held by the Third Brigade, from Fort Mahan to Fort Greble, inclusive, will be designated as "Forces south of the Eastern Branch," under command of Captain Allen, Sixth Company Massachusetts Artillery, to whom reports on that line will be made.

4. All reports and returns will be consolidated by the commanding officers of each of these lines and forwarded to these headquarters, in compliance with circular heretofore issued.

By order of Colonel Haskin:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 37, Part 1 (serial 70), 483-84.


Cold Harbor, Va., June 5, 1864.

1. Brig. Gen. J. G. Barnard, U.S. Volunteers, having reported for duty to the lieutenant-general commanding, is hereby announced as chief engineer of the armies in the field, and will be respected and obeyed accordingly.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 36, Part 3 (serial 69), 600.


HDQRS. DEPT. OF WASHINGTON, 22D A. C., July 9, 1864.

* * * * * * * * * *

2. Brig. Gen. M.D. Hardin, U.S. Volunteers, having reported, in accordance with instructions from the War Department, for duty with the Twenty-second Army Corps, is hereby assigned to the command of Haskin's division, headquarters in Washington City.

3. Col. J. M. Warner, First Vermont Heavy Artillery, is assigned to the command of the First Brigade, Haskin's division, headquarters at or in the vicinity of Tennallytown.

4. Lieut. Col. J. A. Haskin, aide-de-camp, is assigned to the command of the Second Brigade, Hardin's division, headquarters at Fort Stevens or Slocum, as he may select.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Augur:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORA, I, 37, Part 2 (serial 71), 141.


16, 1864.

* * * * * * * * * *

4. In accordance with instructions from the headquarters of the Army, Maj. Gen. A. McD. McCook, U.S. Volunteers, is relieved from duty in this department, and will report in person to the Adjutant-General of the Army.

5. Maj. Gen. A. Doubleday and Brig. Gen. H. E. Paine, U.S. Volunteers, are relieved from duty in the defenses of Washington, and will reassume their duties on the military courts of which they are members.

* * * * * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Augur:

Assistant Adjutant-General

ORA, I, 37, Part 2 ( serial 71), 352.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,
City Point, Va.:

General Barnard is ordered to report to you. Engineer officers have been sent several times to Baltimore to lay out the works. Some are there now. I think, from personal examination, that they are better located than the defenses of Washington. It appears that Early sent a small force south with his plunder, and massed the rest near Winchester. General Averell had a skirmish there yesterday, and reports having killed and wounded over 300 rebels, taking 200 prisoners and 4 pieces of artillery. Nothing heard from Wright for three days. When he received your orders he replied that he would return as soon as assured of rebel retreat. Your telegram about merging departments is in the hands of the Secretary of War. I have no good reason for removing or superseding General Augur. He is capable and efficient. General Franklin would not give satisfaction. The President ordered him to be tried for negligence and disobedience of orders when here before, but General McClellan assumed the responsibility of his repeated delays in obeying orders.

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

ORA, I, 37, Part 2 (serial 71), 408.

Memorandum for the Adjutant-General.

Washington City, October 24, 1864.

Ordered, That during the absence of Major-General Augur in the field, Brevet Major-General Meigs be, and he is hereby, assigned to the command of the defenses of Washington, of the troops of the Veteran Reserve Corps, and all other forces within the city and fortifications; and that he be specially charged with the proper protection of the military stores, depots, arsenals, and other public property within the defenses. He is specially enjoined to see that due measures of vigilance and precaution are used against surprise and attack at all bridges, roads, avenues, and approaches to the city; will make proper inspections of all guards and sentinels and defensive arrangements, and, in general, will take such measures as may be necessary for the efficient protection of the national capital and of the public and private property therein. He will report from time to time to the Chief of Staff, or Secretary of War, for instructions when needed.

By order of the Secretary of War:

Colonel and Inspector-General.

ORA, I, 43, Part 2 (Serial 91), 458.

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