Memorandum from Secretary of War to Chiefs of Bureaus, May 28, 1862.
Should our army, contrary to all reasonable expectation, be forced to abandon Richmond, the notice of the movement may not be sufficient to enable us to remove our archives. It has been determined, therefore, to place such of them as are not indispensable for daily use on one of the lines of public conveyance, in order that their removal, if rendered necessary, may be effected without difficulty. Wagons will be ready to-night at 9 o'clock to commence the removal, which should be conducted quietly and from the rear of the building to avoid panic or excitement in the city. The provost-marshal will conduct the transshipment, and the adjutant-general will detail an officer to take charge of the archives, who will receive his instructions from the Secretary.
Richmond, Va., May 28, 1862.
Brigadier General L. A. ARMISTEAD,
Commanding at Petersburg:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 26th instant to General Cooper, in which you express the opinion that the obstructions in the Appomattox River should have been placed at the Point of Rocks, instead of above Port Walthall. General Huger wrote on the 21st instant that he was endeavoring to obstruct the river at the Point of Rocks, and would if possible render the barrier effective. This work if incomplete should be continued with the utmost energy, unless it has been decided to be impracticable.
The engineer officer assigned to the charge of the work in obstructing the river is unquestionably under your direction as commanding officer of the district. He was under the immediate control of the Engineer Bureau only until General Huger was assigned to the command of the Department of the Appomattox.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING,
Fairfield Race-Course, May 28, 1862.
GENERAL: I send a copy of a letter just received from General Johnston.* Please consider it confidential for the present.
I have ordered General Jones to prepare to move his troops to the right as soon as relieved by General Smith's troops, and to occupy the places now occupied by General Cobb's command, near Mechanicsville Bridge, by the same number and kind of troops. General Cobb will show him the positions, and when his troops are relieved by those of General Jones you will cause those of General Cobb and the rest of your troops to concentrate toward the right.
I have received no other instructions than General Johnston's note, but after conferring with him will, if more detailed instructions are given, communicate them to you by courier. In the mean time you must be guided in their execution by your own judgment.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding Right Wing.