Commanding officers when retreating must look particularly to their rear and to the artillery there stationed. As the enemy is clothed with more uniformity than our men, and generally in darker clothes, and as many of our regiments may come to whom badges cannot be issued, it is ordered that all badges now worn by our men be abolished, and none will hereafter be worn unless further ordered.
The men are reminded that, our forces not being equal to the enemy's it will be necessary to remove them from the front to the rear and from the right to the left, withdrawing them from battle in one place to engage them in battle at another, and therefore their movements in withdrawing from battle should be deliberate and calm, holding themselves in readiness to repel any attack that may be made upon them while withdrawing to the rear, marching to the front, or moving to the right or left.
Every night after a battle the commanders of companies must look to the condition of the arms and ammunition of their men, causing the first to be thoroughly cleaned and a supply of the latter to be issued, at which time short and concise reports should be made to commanding general through the proper channels.
By command of Major-General Magruder:
A. S. DICKINSON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Richmond, Va., March 29, 1862.
Major General B. HUGER,
Commanding Department, Norfolk, Va.:
GENERAL: I am directed by General Lee to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th instant,* and to say that he is fully aware of the impediments to a rapid concentration of troops within your department, and also of your inability to render assistance to others by a permanent detachment of any part of your force. General Magruder was apprehensive of an attack by the enemy in force, and should it prove that this is his real design, the brigade of General Colston was to cross James River to his assistance. Until the intention of the enemy is positively known the order is not to be executed. Special instructions were sent to General C. direct to this effect on yesterday, and a copy of the same forwarded to you.
As regards the numerous permits to raise companies, &c., and the injurious effects of the same, the general instructs me to say that no new permits are being given by the Secretary, and that it is hoped that such action will be taken by Congress as will prevent the retirement from the service of those regiments whose term is about to expire.
The general commanding directs me to add that similar instructions to those of General Colston have been given General Magruder in the event that the real attack should be on the Norfolk side.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. TAYLOR,