WAR DEPARTMENT, December 28, 1861.
Brigadier-General G. A. McCall, Commanding Division, Camp Pierpont, Virginia :
General : I have read your report of the battle of Dranesville, and although no reply is necessary on my part, yet as a citizen of the same Commonwealth as yourself and the troops engaged in that brilliant affair, I cannot refrain from expressing to you my admiration of the gallant conduct displayed, both by officers and men, in this their first contest with the enemy. Nearly all of your command upon that occasion are either my personal friends or sons of those with whom for long years I have been more or less intimately associated. I feel that I have just cause to be proud that, animated by no other motive than patriotism, they are among the first to revive the glory shed upon our country by the men of the Revolution and the soldiers of the War of 1812. It is one of the bright spots that give assurance of the success of coming events; and its effect must be to inspire confidence in the belief that hereafter, as heretofore, the cause of our country will triumph.
I am especially gratified that a Pennsylvania artillery corps, commanded by officers who have necessarily had but limited systematic instruction, have won not only the commendation of their friends, but an unwilling compliment from the enemy, for the wonderful rapidity and accuracy of their fire.
I wish I could designate all the men who, nobly discharging their duty to the country, have added to the glory of our great commonwealth. Other portions of the army will be stimulated by their brave deeds, and men will be proud to say that at Dranesville they served under McCall and Ord.
I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretory of War.