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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 51, Part 2 (Supplements)
Page 185 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

unwilling to go forward since they have heard of the close proximity of the enemy. I shall use my effect to get them out and to procure what information I can from them, though the hope is bad and slight. The cavalry are advanced upon every road and path in eight miles, with orders to report constantly to me any suspicious circumstances they may see. They obey promptly and willingly. Captain Cole can give you the particulars of our situation, &c. I had intended to go to Greenbrier River and make my headquarters there, but under the circumstances do not deem it prudent to do so. Excase the necessity of writing to you in pencil.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. JONES,

Major, &c.

[2.]


HEADQUARTERS,
Williamsburg, July 20, 1861.

Colonel GEORGE DEAS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, C. S. Army:

I have received a letter from Captain Ingraham stating that no guns could be spared from Spratley's farm, as it had been decided upon to erect works of defense at Mulberry Island. I was made aware of the contemplated work at that point by General Lee, but directed at the same time not to relax my efforts to prepare for defense on the lines here and in this vicinity. I beg leave to remark that whilst I am extremely glad to hear that works are to be erected on Mulberry Island and opposite, as they will be obstacles to the enemy in any attempt to ascend the river, yet that any work erected on this side of the river could be carried by the enemy, either by storm or by siege on the land side, and then that their ships could pass up. Mulberry Island (so-called) is not an island, but a peninsula, and therefore any work on it, however strong, can be taken. Again, it is not certain that the enemy will permit a work to be erected there and then made very strong without an attempt to interrupt its progress, and if they should interrupt it, and Spratley's and the river coast to a short distance below King's Mill be not protected by guns in position, neither Yorktown nor Jamestown would prevent a march almost uninterrupted on Richmond. Of course the enemy would mask Yorktown; with sufficient troops they might almost disregard Jamestown, and there is no ground above Williamsburg offering facilities for defense. On the other hand, admirable positions for defense exist below Williamsburg, but the right flank of these positions on James River must be protected. A landing at or near Spratley's farm would turn all the works we have erected or could erect. The reasons against it apply with equal force to Jamestown Island, for it might with equal force be said that there is no necessity to have any guns at Jamestown Island, because works are to be erected at Mulberry Point and opposite. The work at Mulberry Island is very important and ought at once to be built, as well as the one opposite, but that one on the Island (Mulberry) can always be taken, as I said before. The spot where the work is to be erected-and that is the proper spot-is cut off from the mainland by an impassable marsh, but this marsh is very near where the work is to be, and the ground on the land side of the marsh commands the work. From this side at a distance of half a mile the enemy could erect batteries of heavy guns and perhaps make our work untenable; at all events much time would be required to make it secure against a land attack, and as my works here are ready to receive the guns; as they (the guns) are


Page 185 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 51, Part 2 (Supplements)
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