On May 24, 1861, Brigadier General Joseph E. Johnston issued an unnumbered order announcing that he had assume command of the Confederate forces in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, as ordered by the secretary of war.
ORDERS, No. –.
HARPERS FERRY, VA.,
May 24, 1861.
In obedience to the orders of the Secretary of War, the undersigned assumes the command of the troops at and in the vicinity of this place.
Maj. E. E. McLean, C. S. Army, will take the direction of the operations of the Quartermasters Department; Maj. W. H. C. Whiting those of the Engineer Corps.
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.