War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0812 OPERATIONS IN MD. PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

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and a small redoubt, with five or six heavy guns on each point, would close the passage to any vessels that are likely to attempt it.

Respectfully submitted.

THOS. H. WILLIAMSON,

Major of Engineers, Virginia Army.

Brigadier-General RUGGLES.

FREDERICKSBURG, VA., May 6, 1861.

Since writing the above, at the request of Captain Lynch, and by your verbal directions, I have been to Mathais Point, and measured the distances of the opposite shores of the channel from the Point, and find the far side of the channel five thousand eight hundred feet, and the hear side two thousand three hundred and thirty feet, which makes the width of the channel three thousand four hundred and seventy feet.

Respectfully submitted.

THOS. H. WILLIAMSON,

Major of Engineers, Virginia Army.

Brigadier-General RUGGLES.

(NOTE.-The U. S. Coast Survey chart of Potomac River will explain this report.)

Extract from a letter addressed to Captain D. N. Ingram by Captain W. F. Lych.

I am given to understand that the intention of erecting a battery at Mathias Point is not abandoned. Altough, after sounding the channel off that point, I expressed, in my report, the opinion that a cross-fire form it upon a steamer, at distance of a mile and a quarter, for the space of about five minutes, would be a waste of ammunition, yet I am ready to obey any order upon the subject; and, in pursuance of the intimation I have received, respectfully ask what guns can be furnished for that position? It was originally designed to mount twelve 8-inch guns there and a like number at the White House. To the latter place I gave the preference.

RICHMOND, May 6, 1861.

Major-General LEE, Commander-in-Chief:

SIR: I desire to be informed as to the course to be pursued by me in the event of a ship of war of the United States attempting to pass the batteries on Gloucenster Point when they shall be erected and in condition for service.

Is the attempt to be resisted, or shall I await the institution of more decisive hostilities on the part of the United States authorities?

This political question I desire to have decided, and ask your instructions on the subject.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. B. TALIAFERRO,

Colonel Volunteers, Commanding Gloucester Point.