In report from Colonel Stuart just to hand (who is opposite Drewry's Bluff) he says: "It is reported that the enemy's transports (fourteen) are at City Point with troops." This is by no means positive; I merely give it as received and for what it is worth.
The general is absent, and I send you the above unofficially, knowing that you would like to hear all that is going on.
W. H. TAYLOR.
Cross-Roads, New Kent C. H., May 10, 1862-10.30 p. m. General R. E. LEE:
GENERAL: I have smitten to you several times on the subject of concentrating near Richmond all the troops within reach. I have ordered Major-General Huger to evacuate Norfolk and conduct his troops to Richmond, but have no information of his progress. The Army of the North must be in the Department of Northern Virginia, but as I have been informed neither of its location, strength nor the name of its immediate commander, I must suppose that it is not under my orders. If the President will direct the concentration of all the troops of North Carolina and eastern Virginia we may be able to hold Middle Virginia at least. If we permit ourselves to be driven beyond Richmond we lose the means of maintaining this army.
The enemy is now almost exactly between us and the Army of the North. That army should therefore be draw back, to secure its communication with this one.
A concentration of all our available forces may enable us to fight successfully. Let us try.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON.
LONG BRIDGE, May 10, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, C. S. A.:
It is with deep mortification that I report that several thousand soldiers and many individuals with commissions have fled to Richmond under pretext of sickness. They have even thrown away their arms that their flight might not be impeded. Cannot these miserable wretches be arrested and returned to their regiments, where they can have their heads shaved and be drummed out of service? Do make General Winder hunt up all who have not surgeons' certificates.
General, the lies of the newspapers ought to be stopped. Could they not be forbidden to publish anything? In the fight near West Point we lost but 16 killed and wounded. The Richmond papers report a thousand killed and wounded. What must the enemy think of his success?
Our force at Williamsburg is reported to be larger than that of the enemy by the Richmond press, whereas the only troops engaged were the divisions of Longstreet and myself, and McClellan was in person at Williamsburg with at least two corps of his army.*
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I think that enemy got a severe check at Williamsburg and
*Some personal matter omitted.