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Message Assigning Thomas J. Jackson to Command of Harpers Ferry

April 27, 1861

On April 27, 1861, Robert E. Lee ordered Colonel Thomas J. Jackson to take command of Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

Richmond, Va., April 27, 1861.

Virginia Volunteers,
Camp near Richmond, Va.:

COLONEL: You will proceed, without delay, to Harpers Ferry, Va., in execution of the orders of the governor of the State, and assume command of that post. After mustering into the service of the State such companies as may be accepted under your instructions, you will organize them into regiments or battalions, uniting, as far as possible, companies from the same section of the State. These will be placed under their senior captains, until the field officers can be appointed by the governor. It is desired that you expedite the transfer of the machinery to this place, ordered to the Richmond Armory, should it not have been done, and that you complete, as fast as possible, any guns or rifles partially constructed, should it be safe and practicable. Your attention will be particularly directed to the safety of such arms, machinery, parts of arms, raw material, etc., that may be useful, to insure which they must be at once sent into the interior, if in your judgment necessary. If any artillery companies offer their services, or are mustered into the service of the State, and are without batteries, report the facts.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

R. E. LEE,
Major- General, Commanding.


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