with which you could not be acquainted, and so much hangs upon the defensive measures now being taken that I have ventured this letter, although I feel that your time is too important to be wasted on idle suggestions.
If you will show this letter to General Lee, I think he will confirm my topographical description of the country.
Whether the strategic importance of the Hanover Junction be such as I suppose, and whether the march upon it be as practicable as seems to me, both you and he can judge far better than I can; but I cannot be mistaken in supposing that the subject is worthy of your attention and study.
I ought to add to his letter (although, it is already a long one) that, notwithstanding Fort Lowry, troops could be landed on the Rappahannock at not more than thirty-five miles from the Hanower Junction.
Very truly and faithfully, your friend,
R. M. T. HUNTER.
Harper's Ferry, Va., June 12, 1861.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding:
GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 10th instant informing me that two regiments from Lynchburg have been ordered to report at Harper's Ferry. Permit me to urge most respectfully the importance of equipping the troops ordered to this place before putting them en route. Ammunition and means of transportation cannot be obtained here. Without them, additional troops only make this command more helpless. Before the arrival of the Tennessee and Georgia regiments, our supply of ammunition and means of transportation were far too small. The further division makes us no more able to fight, and unable to march. It is much to be regretted, I think, that the Tennessee regiment was admitted into the service. It is without accouterments, instruction, or subordination.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
Richmond, June 13, 1861.
General BEAUREGARD, Commanding, &c., Manassas Junction, Va.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Colonel Jones delivered to me your letter of the 12th instant,* and, as suggested by you, I conversed with him of the matters to which it related. Your information may be more accurate than we possess in relation to the enemy, and I will briefly reply to you on the hypothesis which forms the basis of your suggestions.
If the enemy commences operations by attack upon Harper's Ferry, I do not perceive why General Johnston should be unable, even before overwhelming numbers, to retire behind the positions where the enemy would approach him in reverse. It would seem to me not unreasonable to expect that before he reached Winchester, the terminus of the railroad in his possession, the people of the fertile and populous valley
* Not found.