Reports of E. J. Allen [Allen Pinkerton], Chief of Secret Service Division
The Peninsular Campaign, Virginia
March 17-September 2, 1862

HDQRS. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, D.C., March 29, 1862.

        GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following information relative to the forces and defenses at Yorktown and Gloucester Point, as extracted from a report of one of my operatives, made to you on November 15, 1861; the date of his visit to the above-named places being October 26, 1861:
        That, as my operative was informed, General Magruder (whose headquarters were at Yorktown) commanded all the forces on the Peninsula bounded by James and York Rivers, and also those on Gloucester Point, his command at that time including twenty-seven regiments of infantry, 1,200 cavalry, and four field batteries, containing each from four to six guns, iron and brass, rifled and smooth bore. That Colonel Crump was in command of the forces at Gloucester Point, where were then encamped two regiments of infantry, two companies of cavalry, and one field battery, consisting of four brass and two iron guns, ranging from 6 to 12-pounders. That on the beach at Gloucester Point was a heavy earthwork, with twelve mounted guns, ranging from 32 to 64 pounders. That the intrenchments surrounding all the guns and forces (with the exception of one regiment of infantry) above specified commence about one-fourth of a mile above the aforesaid earthwork on the point and run, in a somewhat circular form, until they again strike the York River about half a mile below the said earthwork. That these intrenchments are composed of split pine logs, set up endwise inside, with an earth bank outside about 12 feet at the base, the earth being taken from the outside front, thus making a ditch of some 5 or 6 feet in depth and the same in width at the top. That at about the center of this breastwork is a 64-pounder mounted on a high carriage, which traverses on a circle calculated for a sweep of the whole land side of the intrenchments, which is a clear field of about 700 acres, bounded by timber on the north and York River on the south. That between October 26 and November 11, 1861, the rebels commenced a heavy earth work on an elevation 50 yards back from the water, 30 to 35 feet above the water level, and 200 yards lower down the river than the earth work at the point first mentioned. That said earthwork had an in trenchment in front partly finished, 8 to 10 feet wide at the top, 5 to 6 feet in depth, the front of the embankment perpendicular, and the back of the ordinary slope. That on this work were employed more than 100 soldiers. That in order to draw out the real purpose of this fortification my operative asked Colonel Crump if it was an infantry breastwork; that the colonel replied: "O, no, sir; it's a battery, and we intend to mount six heavy guns thereon-- four 32-pounders and two 64-pounders." (For masked batteries below Gloucester Point, see report of this date extracted from statement of Ringgold.) That the landing at Yorktown is in front of a hill which rises with a slope some 25 feet above the beach, on the top of which hill, and in front of the town, is an earthwork mounting six or eight guns, 32 to 64 pounders, of which guns my operative saw six, but was informed by the sentinel that there were eight. That this last-named battery is about three-quarters of a mile from that on Gloucester Point, to which it is nearly opposite, but a short distance lower down. (For further particulars concerning Yorktown batteries, see report of this date on statements of Maurice and Ringgold.) That, as my operative was informed by a lieutenant in the rebel army, from Yorktown down the Peninsula toward Fort Monroe are small creeks and inlets running into both the York and James Rivers. That many of these creeks or inlets head near each other and run in opposite directions into the different rivers. That for nearly 15 miles down from Yorktown breastworks were thrown up on the several points of land between the headings of these various creeks or inlets, said breastworks facing toward Fort Monroe, and mounted with 18 to 64-pounders.

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
E. J. ALLEN [ALLEN PINKERTON].

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding U. S. Army.

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HDQRS. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, D.C., March 29, 1862.

        GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following information relative to the forces and defenses at Yorktown. Williamsburg, Bethel, &c., as extracted from various reports previously addressed to you from these headquarters:
        That from the statement made by James H. Maurice, deserter from the Second Florida Regiment, reported on to you on February 1, I am enabled to select the following concerning defenses on the Yorktown Peninsula, to wit:

FORTS, DEFENSES, ETC., NEAR YORKTOWN, VA.

        Fort Grafton is 4 miles southeast by south from Yorktown and one-quarter of a mile back of an inlet from York River: contains four 32-pounders; that in the northeast corner being rifled and protecting a powder magazine. Artillery fort, adapted for field pieces, three-quarters of a mile southeast from Fort Grafton, 42 miles southeast from Yorktown, on an old road leading from this fort to Back Creek. Breastwork for cannon on the north side of Poquosin Creek, by an old mill. Yorktown is surrounded by a breastwork, on which 32-pounders are mounted, the number of which was not known by informant. That the magazine is in Cornwallis Cave, at the foot of the bluff on which the town is built. That in immediate proximity to this magazine is a fort containing six guns, not rifled; is covered with sods for concealment, and cannot be seen until close at hand. Fort half a mile south-southwest from Yorktown, mounting three 32-pounders, one rifled; fort three-quarters of a mile south-southwest from Yorktown, mounting two 32-pounders. Rifle pit from the bridge on Back Creek northwest to the shore and along the shore westerly; that it is concealed, the earth dug from it being thrown into the water. Fort at Gloucester, opposite Yorktown, contains two 10-inch columbiads, one rifled cannon of European manufacture, and two or three 32-pounders-- in all five or six guns. Informant was sufficiently near to perceive that these guns were genuine. Informant was told, and understood from general report, that Williamsburg was well fortified, but cannot speak on that point from personal observation.
        That from the statement made by William H. Ringgold, who left Gloucester November 6, 1861, reported on to you on December 2, 1861, I am enabled to present the following concerning the defenses on the Yorktown Peninsula, to wit:That at Gloucester Point proper, York River, is a battery of nine 32-pounder columbiads, pointing up, down, and across the river; that on the bluff encircling Gloucester Point is a continuous embankment about 1 miles in length from the river above to the river below; that this embankment was used as a sentinel-walk, and that on the inside thereof was a single gun, commanding the country road coming from the north. That on Bryant's plantation, 2 miles below Gloucester Point, are two masked batteries, commanding the river, each containing one gun, one battery being situated on each end of the plantation. That around Yorktown on the land side is a continuous embankment, about 3 miles in length, and mounted with heavy columbiads, commanding all approaches to the town; that within the embankment or breastwork are minor intrenchments. That at Yorktown there was a battery, consisting of five heavy columbiads, mounted on the heights of the town, directly opposite the Gloucester batteries, and commanding the river. That what has been called Cornwallis Cave was used as a magazine for ammunition; that the principal magazine was then (November 5) on the bluff, about 75 yards back of Cornwallis Cave, in an embankment on the upper side of the old road leading up into the town; that under the bluff just below Cornwallis Cave, concealed from upward-bound vessels behind a point on the river, is a battery of four or five short guns of large caliber, supposed to be shell guns; that this battery cannot be seen by vessels ascending the river until they have passed the point of land concealing it and are directly opposite the said battery. That there are iron gun-carriages at Ship Point, 8 miles below Toes Point; that up to November 5 there were no batteries on the York River Railroad between West Point and Richmond. That there were no fortifications or batteries on York River above Yorktown and Gloucester Point, or between the York and Rappahannock Rivers, except at Gloucester Point. That on December 9, 1861, my operative conversed with a lieutenant in General Magruder's command, said lieutenant being then on furlough at Richmond; that my operative asked the lieutenant if any further defenses had been made at West Point or on the York River within a month, and that the lieutenant replied, "No;" adding that the defenses at Gloucester Point and Yorktown were considered sufficient to protect the river.That the statement of James H. Maurice, under date of February 1, concerning the forces on the James and York River Peninsula, is substantially as follows, to wit:
        Encamped 3 miles southwest of Yorktown-- Second Florida, Colonel Ward, 700 to 800 men; Sixteenth Georgia, Colonel Cobb; Thirteenth Louisiana, Colonel Sulakowski. Cobb's Legion, 4 miles south of Yorktown and 2 miles southeast from the Second Florida. Fifty-fifth Virginia, 4 miles south-southeast of Yorktown and half a mile back from the head of the creek. Fifth Virginia Artillery, Fort Grafton, 4 miles south-southeast of Yorktown. Two regiments, names not known, on the Cornwallis battle-ground. Three regiments immediately south of Yorktown. Several regiments at Williamsburg.
        That William H. Ringgold, an intelligent colored man, in report addressed to you December 2, 1861, specifies the following regiments as being on the Yorktown Peninsula and at Gloucester Point:
        Sixth Georgia Infantry, Colonel Colquitt, numbering 1,000 men, within the intrenchments at Yorktown above described. Louisiana Zouaves, numbering about 950, encamped a short distance below Yorktown. Second Alabama Infantry, 1,050 men, 3 miles from Yorktown, on the road to Hampton. Fifth North Carolina Infantry, 800 men, 8 miles from Yorktown, on the road to Big Bethel. Eighth Alabama Infantry, Colonel Winston, 1,000 men, near Big Bethel Church. Cobb's Legion, 5 or 6 miles from Big Bethel Church, 2 miles west of the road to Hampton and opposite Little Bethel. This Legion consists of about 400 cavalry, armed with Maynard's rifles, and 600 infantry, all from Georgia, commanded by Thomas C. Cobb. Several Louisiana regiments at Williamsburg. At Gloucester Point, 5,000 infantry, 160 cavalry, and two companies of artillery. That the total rebel force on the York and James River Peninsula was estimated by the rebels at 25,000 men. That there is a telegraph from Richmond to West Point, also from Yorktown and Great Bethel to Richmond via James River and Grove Wharf. That there is much Union feeling among the poorer classes on the York and Rappahannock Rivers, especially among the oystermen and fishermen.

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
E. J. ALLEN [ALLEN PINKERTON].

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding U.S. Army.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp at Yorktown, May 3, 1862.

        GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following information relative to the forces and defenses of the rebel Army of the Potomac and also of the rebel Army of the Peninsula, obtained to date, which has been extracted from current statements made at these headquarters by spies, contrabands, deserters, refugees, and prisoners of war, in the order of time as hereinafter indicated, and which at the time of reception were made the subject of special reports to you; that portion of this report having reference to the rebel Army of the Potomac as included in the summaries relative thereto being also derived in part from previous reports made to you in reference to the rebel Army of the Potomac. I have also appended to this report a varied summary of those forces and defenses, showing by different combinations about the probable number of these forces and the locality and strength of their defenses.
        The summary of general estimates of the rebel army at Yorktown shows their forces to date of latest information to be 100,000 to 120,000, such being the medium estimates, and taken from statements deemed most reliable, the information upon which they are based having been derived from officers of their army and from persons connected with their commissary department at Yorktown, the latter of whom stated the daily rations issued there to be 119,000. The summary also shows that specific information has been received of twenty-two different known brigades, forty-five regiments, and three battalions infantry, two regiments cavalry, one legion of 2,500 men, and ten companies artillery, which specific information, though forming but a small portion of the rebel army, is all that it has been possible to obtain, owing to want of time and the very rapid and continued accumulation of troops at this point re-enforcing their army. It may, however, safely be assumed that the medium estimates stated (100,000 to 1.000) are under rather than over the mark of the real strength of rebel forces at Yorktown.
        It is also shown by statements in the report that rebel re-enforcements at Yorktown commenced to arrive on the 25th March in consoiderable numbers, and have continued arriving ever since to date of latest information, one brigade having landed at King's Mill, James River, on the 1st instant.

All of which, general, is respectfully submitted, by your obedient servant,
E. J. ALLEN.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding Army of the Potomac.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY CF THE POTOMAC,
Camp Lincoln, near Richmond, June 26, 1862.

        GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following information relative to the forces and defenses of the rebel army of the Peninsula, including the forces and defenses of Yorktown up to the time of the evacuation and of :Richmond and vicinity up to date of this report; this information having been obtained and extracted from statements made at these headquarters by spies, contrabands, deserters, refugees, and prisoners of war, in the order of time as hereinafter indicated, and which at the time of reception were made the subject of special reports to you. I have also appended to this report a varied summary of those forces and defenses, showing by different combinations about the probable number of these forces and the locality and strength of their defenses.
        The summary of the general estimates of the rebel army at Yorktown up to about the time of the evacuation shows their forces to be 100,000 to 120,000. The specific information regarding the rebel army at Yorktown, obtained to date, shows the following-named organizations, Twenty-two brigades, ninety-one regiments, three legions, two battalions infantry, five battalions artillery, sixteen companies artillery, and two companies infantry.
        This information is necessarily limited, because the rapid accumulation of rebel troops at Yorktown and their subsequent changes of organization rendered it impossible to obtain but a partial specific knowledge of their forces.
        The summary of general estimates of the rebel army shows their forces to be at this time over 180,000 men, and the specific information already obtained warrants the belief that this number is probably considerably short of the real strength of their army, which is as follows: Two hundred regiments infantry and cavalry, including the re-enforcements just arrived of Jackson's and Ewell's forces (eight battalions), five battalions artillery, twelve companies infantry and independent cavalry, and forty-six companies of artillery-- in all about forty or fifty brigades. The forces under General Jackson just arrived have been ascertained by general estimate and by partial specific information, and the number is probably about 30,000, which includes about 10,000 sent from Richmond to re-enforce him lately, and which only reached him and formed a junction at a very recent date.
        The summary shows the number of earthworks completed by the rebels in the vicinity of and for the defense of Richmond to be fifty-two, and the specific number of guns shown to be mounted on thirty-six of the same is about 205, leaving sixteen fortifications without specific information as to the number of guns.

All of which, general, is respectfully submitted, by your obedient servant,
E. J. ALLEN.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding Army of the Potomac.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp at Harrison's Landing, Va., August 14, 1862.

        GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following information of the forces and defenses and the movement of the forces of the rebel army of Richmond and vicinity from the time of commencing the Seven-days' Battles at Mechanicsville to date of this report, including the movement from Richmond to the valley of Jackson and his forces and the reenforcements sent to him from the army at Richmond, which information has been derived from statements made at these headquarters by spies, contrabands, deserters, refugees, and prisoners of war, in order of time as hereinafter indicated, and which at the time indicated were made the subject of special reports to you. I have also appended to and made it part of this report a varied summary of these forces and their movements, together with summary of the defenses in the vicinities of Richmond and Petersburg, showing the probable number of these forces and the position and strength of their defenses.
        The summary of general estimates shows 200,000 men to have composed the rebel army of Richmond about the time of the Seven-days' Battle, which estimates are abundantly confirmed by the specific information obtained up to date of this report, as will be seen by reference to the table showing organization of the rebel army accompanying and part of this report.
        It is also shown that the rebel losses in the seven battles before Richmond in killed, wounded, missing, and prisoners was at least 40,000 men. It is also shown that General Jackson left for Gordonsville early in July with 40,000 men, and that at least as many more were sent to re-enforce him before the 10th of August, thus leaving the entire rebel force in the vicinity of Richmond and Petersburg, according to information received up to date of this report, 80,000 men.
        The table of specific organizations of the rebel army shows that they had forty-six brigades, two hundred and fifteen regiments, nineteen battalions, and one company infantry, one legion, eleven regiments cavalry, two battalions, and six companies ditto, three battalions artillery, and seventy-six batteries of artillery; in all equaling two hundred and fifty-two regiments. Of course, in the nature of the case, this specific information does not cover their entire army, and must, therefore, be taken as below even a minimum estimate.

All of which, general, is respectfully submitted, by your obedient servant,
E. J. ALLEN.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE. B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding Army of the Potomac.

Inclosure.]

DEFENSES OF RICHMOND.

        The statements in this and previous reports show the number of fortifications for the defense of Richmond to be fifty-two, and that the number of guns mounted upon thirty-six of them is 201 to 205, while the number upon the remaining sixteen is not given. These fortifications are shown to be located about as follows: one fort on the plank road northwest of Richmond; one fort on Deep Run turnpike, near the fair grounds; one on Bacon Quarter Branch Creek, north of Richmond; four on Brook turnpike; one on road between Brook turnpike and Meadow Bridge road; three on Meadow Bridge road and Central Railroad; six on and near Mechanicsville turnpike; one on Union Hill one on Race Course; one on Church Hill; three at and below Rocketts one 3 miles below Rocketts, between River and Old River turnpike two on Marion Hill; one on Fulton Hill; one at junction of Darby town and Charles City roads; four on old stage road to Williamsburg; four on and near New Bridge road, 5 miles from Richmond; two near Mrs. Price's and Dr. Garnett's, on Chickahominy Bluff; one on Charles City road; one at Ball's Bluff, and one at Fort Darling; one on Nine-mile road, and other similar breastworks and rifle pits in the vicinity of the front line of the rebel army on the Chickahominy.

GENERAL ESTIMATES OF THE REBEL FORCES IN VIRGINIA.

        Jackson's army of the valley was 15,000 prior to recent re-enforcements from Richmond.
        Rebels had opposed to us at the Seven-days' Battles 100,000 men, and estimated our force at 70,000.
        One hundred and twenty-five thousand men said to have followed our army on its retreat.
        Jackson's valley force was 8,000 to 10,000 men; was re-enforced by Ewell with 10,000 from the Rappahannock, making it 18,000 to 20,000.
        Twelve thousand to 15,000 men were sent from Richmond to re-en force Jackson, but did not reach him until he was on his way to Richmond from the Shenandoah Valley.
        Jackson's force now consists of Ewell's division, about 12,000 men, G. W. Smith's division, about 12,000 to 15,000 men; Jackson's own division, about 8,000 to 10,000 men.
        The whole Richmond army now (July 10) numbers probably 200,000 men, and has been estimated at 250,000.
        Georgia regiments recently filled by recruiting to 1,100 or 1,200.
        Said to be 20,000 to 25,000 troops at Petersburg. Troops from Beauregard's army are daily arriving.
        Heard a rebel lieutenant say that the rebel army numbered 190,000; our army generally estimated by the rebels at 130,000.
        Surgeon Powell, returned Union prisoner, states that the admitted rebel loss in the Seven-days' Battles was 19,000.
        A British subject who arrived per flag of truce, and is a compositor by trade, states that he set up for the Richmond Examiner an item stating that of 14,000 men led into the second day's fight by General A. P. Hill he only brought out 6,000.
        Rebel troops in the Seven-days' Battles, including Jackson's whole force, estimated at 220,000 to 260,000.
        Jackson's forces going north are usually estimated at 50,000, but the estimates range from 30,000 to 80,000.
        It is customary at the South, in speaking of regiments, to call them thousands, but the regiments will not average over 700.
        Jackson was said to have taken with him into the valley one hundred regiments.
        Rebel army previous to the late battles was estimated at 250,000 killed and wounded, 45,000 to 50,000.
        About 20,000 troops are in the vicinity of Petersburg. About July 5 50,000 were encamped between Petersburg and Richmond.
        That about two weeks ago 25,000 troops were received from the South per Petersburg Railroad, said to have come from Charleston, S. C.
        Jackson said to have taken 40,000 troops with him to the valley.
        Rebel killed and wounded in the late battles estimated at 25,000 to 75.000.
        Jackson said to have with him in the valley 60,000 men.
        Rebel army of Richmond estimated at 130,000, exclusive of Jackson's forces and the troops south of James River.
        Jackson's estimated at 110,000, of which number 30,000 were recently sent him from Richmond and 60,000 from the south via Lynchburg.
        One hundred pieces and three or four car loads of artillery from the South went to Fredericksburg depot on July 29, 1862, said to be for Jackson.
        Beauregard's forces are believed to be mostly in Richmond.
        Thirty thousand to 40,000 disciplined troops supposed to have been received in Richmond shortly before the commencement of the Seven days' Battles.
        About 50,000 troops were encamped around General Lee's headquarters on July 28, 1862.
        One hundred and eighty thousand at Richmond prior to re-enforcements from Charleston; 40,000 taken by Jackson to the valley. He was afterwards reenforced by 60,000 from the cotton States.
        Rebel army estimated at 250,000 by the people of Richmond.
        (The above statement was made by officers of the Federal Army who escaped from Richmond.)
        Two trains daily of ten to fifteen cars each, loaded with troops, entered Richmond from Petersburg for four or five weeks prior to August 8, 1862.
        Fifty thousand troops reported in Richmond to have been sent to Jackson within four weeks prior to above date.
        Jackson said to have taken 75,000 troops from Richmond.
        Nearly the whole rebel force said to have been employed against McClellan at the battle of Mechanicsville.

Source:  Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, O.R.-- Series I--Volume XI/1 [S# 12]

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