Gosport Navy-Yard, April 18, 1862.
Lieutenant Commanding J. N. BARNEY,
SIR: You will proceed with the steamer Jamestown, under your command, accompanied by the steamer Raleigh, into the James River at the first favorable opportunity you may find to pass the enemy's batteries at Newport News.
On your arrival in the vicinity of the Confederate forces under Major-General Magruder you will communicate with that officer as soon as possible, and render him in his operations against the enemy all the aid in your power.
On falling in with the steamer Teazer you will take her under your orders, making the force under your command to consist of the Jamestown, the Raleigh, and the Teazer.
you will communicate to me all matters of importance through the Secretary of the Navy or any other more direct way.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. RIGHT FLANK, DEPT. OF THE PENINSULA,
Lee's Farm, April 19, 1862.
Major THOMAS G. RHETT,
SIR: I beg leave to call the attention of the commanding general to the great difficulty in carrying on the exhausting defense at the dams assigned to my command, particularly at Dam No. 1. Sharpshooters of the enemy have been slowly pushing their way forward, causing it to be extremely dangerous to relieve troops except in the night.
The number of riflemen and good shots at that position is very limited, and I have the honor to request that you will order the Second Mississippi Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor commanding, which is armed with Enfield rifles, and about 275 effective, and now under the command of Brigadier-General Rodes near Yorktown, to report to Brigadier-General Toombs for duty at Dam No. 1.
In spite of all my endeavors to strengthen the redoubts at Dam No. 1 I have every reason to apprehend that the superior number and weight of the enemy's artillery will finally silence our batteries there. I therefore particularly request that one of the light 32-pounders of Captain Richardson's battery, now at Redoubt No. 4, near Yorktown, be ordered to report to Brigadier-General Toombs, to be placed in position at Dam No. 1. It would counteract and perhaps overcome the expected fire of the enemy.
I have further the honor to state that troops at the dams are almost constantly under fire, and that though they exhibit fine spirit they must inevitably become exhausted. There is no reserve there out of the reach of the enemy's fire. I therefore beg leave to request that the troops from our reserve in the rear be ordered to relieve them at least every forty-eight hours, to procure that recuperation which is necessary to success.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,