July 4th Report of Captain James H. Simpson, U. S. Topographical Engineers

Martinsburg, Va., July 4, 1861.

MAJOR: I have to report that the column under General Patterson crossed the Potomac from Williamsport into Virginia on the morning of the 2nd, and encamped the same night at Hainesville, on Hoke’s Run, twelve miles distant. The main column, under General Patterson, consisting of probably three fourths of the command, took the most direct route. The balance of the command, under the command of General Negley, and which I accompanied, took a more circuitous route, the object being to sweep the whole country. We met the enemy on both routes, but they could not withstand the force of our array, and, after exchanging some shots, fled precipitately. The next morning we started for this city, which we reached yesterday before noon, or entry being of the most gallant character, and the citizens generally receiving us with cheers of granulations and sweet smiles of smiles of approbation. The enemy in a small body is posted, or were yesterday, about two and one-half miles from us on the Winchester road, but they will not be permitted to remain there long. To-day our train has gone to Williamsport to obtain supplies. The main body of the enemy is represented as being entrenched about seven miles from us on the Winchester road. They are variously estimated by the citizens of the country from 7,000 to 20,000 strong. We probably are about 10,000 strong.

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

Captain, Topographical Engineers.

Commanding Corps Topographical Engineers, Washington, D. C.


The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.