will be powerless. What can I do about it? I do not know and I am not aware that you can help me.
The terms of three North Carolina regiments expire in a short time.
I am very deficient in many departments, but must struggle on against all difficulties.
I am, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PENINSULA,
Lee's House, April 11, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: General Hill has reported to me with his division, which he represents as 4,000 strong. Previous to his arrival I had received about 16,000 men, making, in round numbers, say, 20,000 men. My old army consisted of 11,500 efficient men, making an aggregate of 31,500. But large numbers of these are not available for defense on my extended line. Some 1,500 are over the York River, at Gloucester Point; about 5,000 at Yorktown, in garrison; 750 at Jamestown Island; 1,000 at Mulberry Island, and 200 at Williamsburg and vicinity.
I have thus about 23,000 men on a line 14 miles long to meet an enemy estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000.
I wish 10,000 additional men, if possible, and a greater amount of field artillery; the garrison's work requiring the greatest part of what I have.
The enemy is reported to have three hundred rifle pieces, and I think truly, and their number must tell dreadfully on us.
All my troops are now in position, or taking position, as fast as they arrive, and I have no reserve, the important necessity of which you can understand in the face of an enemy so much exceeding us.
I am, general, yours, respectfully,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA,
Lee's Farm, April , 1862-3.30 p.m.
Commanding Third Division, Shields' Farm:
SIR: You were directed this morning to send out skirmishers to the front to ascertain the position of the enemy. I am now instructed to direct you to send out no less than a brigade to skirmish and ascertain the position of the enemy, falling back before a large force.
You will hold another brigade in reserve to support the skirmishers in case of necessity, manning your works to hold the enemy in check should they attempt to follow our troops when they retire.
This to be done promptly.
I am, sir, very respectfully,