War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0696 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, June 27, 1864.

Colonel ARMISTEAD,

Magnolia:

You are ordered by the President through General Holmes to Weldon at once with the Junior Reserves.

W. H. C. WHITING,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

Petersburg, Va., June 28, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I regret to learn by your letter of the 25th instant, this day received, of the inconveniences to which the departments of the Government at Richmond are subjected by the detention in the field of the local troops. So far as I can judge at this time many, if not all, of them might be returned to their occupations for a season. The dismounted men of the cavalry might, as you suggest, supply the place of the local troops for a time, but they are an uncertain force, constantly changing and dependent upon the condition of their horses. They are of much use with their divisions in their operations in the field guarding their trains, camps, &c., and when circumstances permit accompanying them on their expeditions, fighting on foot. Lately, while the cavalry have been operating in the vicinity of Richmond, as the horses have become disabled the men have been sent back to their wagon camps, &c., to rest and recruit, and I presume that those are the camps to which you allude in the neighborhood of that city. All the dismounted men have been ordered to follow their divisions south of James River with a view of establishing them as guards on the railroad in addition to the other duties which they habitually perform. If you think they can be better devoted to the occupation of the trenches around Richmond I have no objection and will see what can be done to carry out your views.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

Petersburg, June 28, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive to-day your letter of the 25th instant in reference to the necessity of obtaining a supply of railroad iron. I see no other mode than by removing the rails from those roads not of prime necessity, nor do I know of any objection to taking the remaining iron on the york river road. Unless absolutely necessary, I recommend that that portion of the road south of the Chickahominy, or at least so much of it as lies within our lines of defense, should remain.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.