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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 11, Part 3 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 523 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.


HEADQUARTERS,
Richmond, Va., May 17, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I had the honor to reply yesterday to that portion of your letter of the 15th instant relating to the works and obstructions for the defense of James River. In relation to the information brought by your scouts of the position of the federal army and your impression that General McClellan may place his troops in communication with the fleet on James River, I think there can be little doubt as to the correctness of your views on this latter point. It is evidently now his best policy to do so, and it is fair for us to conclude that his operations in front of Yorktown will be re-enacted in front of the obstructions on James River, unless you can prevent it. Will it be possible for you to strike him a successful blow in the passage of his army to James River and before he can have the co-operation of his gunboats? Should his course to James River be below the mouth of the Chickahominy this will be difficult, but should his march be across the Chickahominy his passage between that river and the James may furnish you the opportunity.

Although I have little doubt but that you have already considered this subject, your attention is now invited to it. By direction of the President I am endeavoring to organize and arm the companies of heavy artillery that have been serving at the different batteries on the Peninsula (at Norfolk), and expect to form two regiments. the companies of one are now with General Huger; of the other in this city. The latter, with all the other companies that can be armed, will be ordered down to you as soon as possible.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.


HEADQUARTERS,
Richmond, Va., May 17, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 14th, stating your great need of cavalry, I have the honor to say that four companies with the army under General Huger, and belonging to Colonel Davis' regiment, with you, have been ordered to join it. There are organized companies of cavalry in Virginia, but are entirely unarmed and poorly equipped. Efforts have been and are being made to prepare them for the field, and, if they can be got ready for the service, will be ordered to you.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

RICHMOND, VA., May 17, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

GENERAL: This will be handed to you by my aide, Colonel Lee, who is sent to communicate fully to you the condition of the works on James River and the positions and forces on the south side of it. He will give you the details of the attack by the gunboats. Since their repulse a better spirit prevails here, and we shall no doubt have some effective


Page 523 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 3 (Peninsular Campaign)
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