Riddle's shops (or near there). But the health and comfort of the troops should be consulted in establishing their cam, and a picket, changed every twenty-four hours, could be established at the most commanding point. The regiment should at least be as far advanced as the waters of White Oak Swamp. If you cannot select the point yourself, send a judicious colonel for the first tour of duty. Let him take tools, &c., and throw up some breastworks, &c., for the protection of the troops at the point where they can make the best defense. Breastworks of logs, abatis, &c., could be used in prolonging the line through the woods. The regiment could be changed weekly if you desire it, to lighten the duty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
August 8, 1862
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
GENERAL: Will you please inform me whether the recommendations for promotion to fill vacancies in the army have yet been acted upon? The want of officers of proper rank render many regiments and companies inefficient; regiments being in some cases under the command of captains and many companies without their proper complement of officers.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[R. E. LEE.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
August 8, 1862
MESSRS. ROBBINS, COOK, BLACKBURN, AND OTHERS,
Citizens of Gloucester County:
GENTLEMEN: General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your communication* with reference to the condition of affairs in Gloucester County. The general regrets very much that he is unable to extend to the different portion of the country now exposed to the ravages of the enemy the protection that he would desire to give; but in the present posture of affairs those sections which the enemy can reach by water, at a distance from the main body of our army, must, from the nature of the circumstances be more or less exposed. To send a small body of troops to your county might suffice to protect you for a time against such expeditions as the enemy send out, but it would only result in drawing a larger force, who would come with the expectation of capturing our troops, and as the enemy on the water possess such great advantages in rapidly concentrating troops, we would either have to retire or endeavor to support them, a thing that cannot now be done. The result would be that the enemy would come in a larger body and their ravages would be more extensive and ruinous.
The general can see no relief for you at present except the organiza-