that one of my companies should march 7 miles rather than a company of the Third Georgia or First Louisiana should march half the distance, I must say, though with all respect for the general, that I would prefer to suffer the consequences of disobedience, even should the penalty be death, rather than execute it. My men have been working hard in throwing up intrenchments and obstructing the river, which I understand the forces on the other side have had negroes to help them. While engaged in a war for what I claim to be my rights I cannot submit to what I believe to be unjust discrimination.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. C. BRABBLE,
Commanding, Richardson's Farm.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Lee's Farm, April 28, 1862.
* * * * *
II. Brigadier-General Summes will report to Major-General Magruder for the command of a brigade, composed of the Fifteenth Virginia, Tenth Georgia, Tenth Louisiana Regiments, and the Louisiana Battalion, now temporarily commanded by Colonel August.
By command of General Johnston:
THOS. G. RHETT,
HEADQUARTERS, Lee's House, April 29, 1862.
General R. E. LEE:
SIR: I suspect that McClellan is waiting for iron-clad war vessels for James River. They would enable him to reach Richmond three days before these troops, setting out at the same time. Should such a move be made, the fall of Richmond would be inevitable, unless we anticipate it. I cannot account otherwise than by this supposition for the long delay here. The fight for Yorktown, as I said in Richmond, must be one of artillery, in which we cannot win. The result is certain; the time only doubtful.
Should the attack upon Yorktown be made earnestly, we cannot prevent its fall; nor can it hold out more than a few hours. We must abandon the Peninsula soon. As two or three days, more or less, can signify little, I think it best for the sake of the capital to do it now, to put the army in position to defend Richmond. I shall therefore move as soon as can be done conveniently, looking to the condition of the roads and the time necessary for the corresponding movement from Norfolk.
The wretched condition of the roads may cause us heavy losses of materials on the march.
The Virginia should hold Hampton Roads as long as may be necessary to prevent the enemy from cutting off the troops now in Norfolk, if she can do so.
As this is an important movement, I think it necessary that the intention to make it should be reported to the Government.
Should the enemy approach Richmond in this manner, I apprehend we should have there concentrated the largest force you can collect.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,