to secure all the efficient arms here, and remove the machinery in such a manner as that it may be readily put together again, as well as all the unfinished guns, but to have an inventory made of the public property, so that the officers charged with the details may be held to proper account. Of course I could do no more than adopt such general directions of military affairs as were important for the security of my position-the details being left to the ranking brigadier-general (Carson). I am now though this terrible pressure, however, in regard to the public property, and intend to assume at once the active military command. I have now about twenty-four hundred men here. Not knowing what troops your ordered, I ha e received all which offered. The hourly telegraphic dispatches sent in are exciting; but I feel calm, as I have taken adequate measures to guard against surprise. Some here, who do not know, no doubt think I am rather incredulous as regards their information. But trust me; I am well posted, and shall be found ready. The responsibilities assumed by me, under the circumstances in which I was placed, have been heavy; but the exigencies were pressing, and I rest with confidence on the record of my proceedings for full vindication of all my acts. If man could have effected more, then I am willing to be condemned.
From the information I have of the condition of the guns in progress of manufacture, there are components to fit up readily for use from seven to ten thousand stand of arms, exclusive of those rescued uninjured from the flames. I have employed artificers to put these together, and am turning out daily several hundred minnie muskets. you must sustain me. I am wholly unprovided with funds. I can get them from the Winchester banks, if you will give authority. You may judge of the state of things here when I say even Virginia money will procure nothing, but at an enormous discount, in the stores of the place.
With sincere regard, yours,
Fredericksburg, Va., April 22, 1861.
By the authority of the governor of the State of Virginia I assume command of the volunteers and militia along the line of the Potomac River, extending from Mount Vernon south to the mouth of the Rappahannock River. Headquarters are established at this place until further orders.
Brigadier-General Virginia Volunteers, Commanding Forces.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, April 23, 1861.
Major-General Lee having reported to the governor, he will at once assume the command in chief of all the military and naval forces of the State and take in charge the military defenses of the State.
Richmond, Va., April 23, 1861.
In obedience to orders from his excellency John Letcher, governor of