War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0560 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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HEADQUARTERS,

Richmond, Va., May 30, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I went as far to-day as your pickets at the bridges on the Chickahominy where the Telegraph road and the old stage road cross that river. Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, commanding at the latter point, informed me that he had a skirmish last evening at the latter point, called Halfsink, with the enemy's cavalry. This morning he ascertained by his skirmishers that the enemy had disappeared and that nothing had been seen of them to-day. Captain Fox, who represented himself as a scout, and who I found had come into the cavalry pickets on the Telegraph road beyond the Chickahominy, stated that the enemy had retired from Atlee's and was nowhere west of the railroad in that vicinity. Dr. Fontaine, of the Fourth Virginia Cavalry, stated to me that he was last night as high up as Hanover Court-House, and that he saw and heard nothing of them in the region west of the road from Ashland to that point. He also reported that there was no enemy on the stage road from Fredericksburg. It was reported by citizens that there was a force of the enemy marching by the Amelia road, but of that he knows nothing. I think it probable from what I learned to-day that the enemy, being satisfied with temporarily breaking up our railroad communication north, have withdrawn east of these roads, with a view, probably, of concentrating his force nearer Richmond.

I omitted to mention in the statement of Captain Fox that he met a citizen of his acquaintance who had been seeking the restoration of some property, and was referred by the parties to whom he applied to General McClellan, who was stated to be at a point 4 miles from Atlee's, on the road leading from Richmond to Pamunkey. He inferred that the main body of his forces was in that vicinity. You may probably have received more accurate accounts of the position of the enemy from your scouts.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING,

Fairfield Race-Course, Va., May 30, 1862.

Major THOMAS G. RHETT,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to draw the attention of the commanding general to the great extent of my line, reaching from New Bridge, on my right, to 1 mile to the left of the Meadow Bridges. The protection of this line was necessarily incumbent upon my troops even so far as beyond Brooke Run, until General A. P. Hill took possession on my left. I have a regiment stationed beyond Brooke Run with which the rest of my command find some difficulty in communicating. I therefore desire to have that regiment replaced by one from General Hill's division, which is nearer, and can communicate with it much more readily than I can. I deem it necessary to mention that even after this change, in