War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0614 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Original Records

by some of the men and officers that the enemy had been seen to cross the road in front of them, going in direction of the Darby or Central road. Some said that they saw as much as three regiments of infantry, but I could not, from their reports to me, satisfy myself that they had seen more than 15 or 20 infantry; they said that they saw officers on foot. I got spades and picks about 10 o'clock last night; will commence work early to-morrow morning, and have so many at work that they will accomplish a good deal, I hope.

Truly, &c.,

C. M. WILCOX,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING, Army before Richmond, Va., June 23, 1862.

Gov. JOHN LETCHER,

Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I send you herewith a statement of the condition of the Virginia forces belonging to this command. In bringing this subject to your attention my object is to induce you to take some active measures, if any such lie within your power, to recruit their ranks. Such a course is pre-eminently required for the good of the service, since any addition to our army will without doubt be of much more avail when incorporated in regiments, which, like many of these, have already been through a most trying discipline of fire, than when joined with men as fresh as the new recruits themselves. You will observe that my command embraces twenty-three Virginia regiments, one battalion, and seventeen batteries. According to the provisions of the law of conscription these various organizations should contain something like 32,000 men, yet they number on their rolls, as appears from the list I inclose, less than 20,000, and of this number over 7,000 are at times absent from their posts. That is to say, while I ought to command 32,000 Virginians, I do not really command 13,000. I shall cause the officer in command of the various batteries and battalions to forward their muster rolls, as required by law, to the commandants of the camps of instruction; but I am not without strong hope that your interest in these troops, who have done so much to distinguish the valor of Virginians, may incite you also to co-operate with me in the effort to procure the desired re-enforcements.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES LONGSTREET,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., June 28, 1862.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War, with the earnest hope that he may have the power speedily to fill up the regiments in this division.

By order of the Governor:

S. BASSETT FRENCH,

Aide-de-Camp.