I have great aversion to appearing in the newspapers and still greater to subjecting myself even to the imputation of drawing invidious comparisons. I trust I will not be so judged. As you deem the facts within my knowledge of importance to you I give them, with full authority to use as you see proper.
Very truly, your obedient servant,
THOS. R. R. COBB,
Colonel Georgia Legion.
[Inclosure Numbers 10.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, August 14, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Sec'y of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to transmit the report of Major General Magruder and the officers of his command of the operations in the late engagements around Richmond. At the request of General Magruder I forward the report without the delay which would necessarily attend its accompanying my own, which, for the want of the reports of other division commanders, I am unable to submit. I have only been able to give it a cursory examination, and to append such remarks as were suggested in its perusal. General Magruder appears to have greatly exerted himself to accomplish the duty devolved on him, and I can bear testimony to the uniform alacrity he displayed in its execution. He had many difficulties to contend with, I know. I regretted at the time, and still regret, that they could not have been more readily overcome. I feel assured, however, that General Magruder intentionally omitted nothing that he could do to insure success.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Remarks on the report of Major General J. Bankhead Magruder of the recent operation of his command near Richmond.
1. General Magruder is under a misapprehension as to the separation of the troops operating on the north side of the Chickahominy from those under himself and General Huger on the south side. He refers to this subject on pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of his report.* The troops on the two sides of the river were only separated until we succeeded in occupying the position near what is known as New Bridge, which occurred before 12 m. on Friday, June 27, and before the attack on the enemy at Gaines' Mill. From the time we reached the position referred to I regarded communications between the two wings of our army as re-established. The bridge referred to and another about three-quarters of a mile above were ordered to be repaired before noon on Friday, and the New Bridge was sufficiently rebuilt to be passed by artillery on Friday night, and the one above it was used for the passage of wagons, ambulances, and troops early on Saturday morning. Besides this, all other bridges above New Bridge and all the fords above that point were open to us.
2. Major-General Huger's division was ordered to move on Sunday by the Charles City road. It was not intended or directed to move by the Williamsburg road, as General Magruder seems to have understood me to say on Sunday, June 29. (See report, page 8.)
*Refers to original MSS. report.