tion than in the face of an enemy it may be practicable to give. To insure something, it was sought to put at least one instructed officer in each regiment organized here. If a major, well; if a lieutenant-colonel, better; if a colonel, best; and in this connection I suggest to you that the instructed officer, as far as possible, be not detached from regimental headquarters, and be employed in instructing especially the commissioned and non-commissioned officers in tactics and field duties.
A few days since I received a telegram from General Beauregard, stating that some of the regiments were without food. An addendum was appended by Colonel Lee, commissary, that the deficiency was of hard bread and bacon, and that he was offered abundance of beef and flour by the inhabitants of the surrounding country. I returned the telegram to General Beauregard, and called his attention to the inconsistency. If, under such circumstances, the troops have suffered for food, the neglect of the subsistence department demands investigation and the proper correction, not only to remedy the evil, but to afford an example which will deter others from thus offending.
We are anxiously looking for the official reports of the battle of Manassas, and have present need to know what supplies and wagons were captured. I wish you would have prepared a statement of your wants in transportation and supplies of all kinds, to put your army on a proper footing for active operations.
General Lee has gone to Western Virginia, and I hope may be able to strike a decisive blow at the enemy in that quarter; or, failing in that, will be able to organize and post our troops so as to check the enemy, after which he will return to this place.
The movement of Banks will require your attention. It may be a ruse, but, if a real movement, when your army has the requisite strength and mobility, you will probably find an opportunity, by a rapid movement through the passes, to strike him in rear or flank, and thus add another to your many claims upon your country's gratitude.
General Holmes will establish a battery above his present position, near the mouth of the Chopawamsic, where it is reported the channel can be commanded so as to cut off that line of the enemy's communication with their arsenals and main depots of troops. This measure will, no doubt, lead to an attack, and hence the preference for a position between his column and yours, rather than one lower down the river, as that of Mathias Point.
Nothing important from James and York Rivers. The movements at and near Fort Monroe were probably only due to the discharge of the three months' men of the enemy.
We must be prompt to avail ourselves of the weakness resulting from the exchange of the new and less reliable forces of the enemy for those heretofore in service, as well as of the moral effect produced by their late defeat. Let me hear from you as your convenience will permit.*
RICHMOND, August 1, 1861.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Manassas:
Your telegram received and submitted to the President, who instructs me to say that information from other sources renders Banks' movement so doubtful as to require further information. He desires you will seek to obtain full and exact knowledge.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
* Some personal details omitted.