of York River; therefore the armament of this battery was considered with peculiar interest and the guns disposed to the best advantage. Unless you deem it expedient, the columbiads transferred from there need not at present be returned. You are requested, however, to give every attention to the completion of the works at Gloucester Point, and if possible, to strengthen its garrison. The question of transferring the guns at West Point to Gloucester Point will be referred to Captain Whittle.
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF FREDERICKSBURG,
Brooke's Station, Va., July 10, 1861.
Colonel GEORGE DEAS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond Va.:
COLONEL: If it is the settled policy of the general commanding to defer the establishment of a battery at Mathias Point, I beg respectfully to suggest that it will be better for me to withdraw the troops from there entirely and at once. The enemy can have no object in landing there, except to prevent our occupancy; and, if we withdraw our troops, it will be to them of no more importance than any other point on the river; whereas if we continue our forces there it will keep them constantly on the alert, and give to the point a fictitious importance which, in a military point of view, it does not deserve. We have now there some fifteen hundred men and a battery of artillery, all raw and almost entirely uninstructed. This force should not be reduced if the place is to be held; and, as they have a coast of seven or eight miles to guard, picket duties occupy them so constantly, that they have very little time and less disposition to drill. My wish is to bring them here, where they will be available for service, without having to perform a march of thirty-five miles, and where, under my supervision, the raw material can be converted into soldiers.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. H. HOLMES,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.
RICHMOND, July 10, 1861.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
MY DEAR SIR: General Gist, the adjutant-general of South Carolina, goes to your headquarters to make himself useful to you in any way he can serve you, and it gives me pleasure to commend him to your plate attention.
Your letter found me trying by every method to hasten re-enforcements to you, but small as our force is, the want of transportation does not allow me to send such as we have except at a rate which makes me heart-sick. I am sill endeavoring to induce an increase of transportation, and hope, if not too late, to be able in a few days materially to increase your force. Everybody disappoints me in their answers to my requisitions for troops, and the last hope of a large force of militia coming to your aid seems doomed to add another to past disappointments.