mission, made in part at least of civilians of intelligence and undoubted loyalty, be constituted, to examine into these cases promptly, and make proper disposition of them, by either remitting them to the civil authorities, where prosecutions can be maintained, or turning them over to the proper higher military authorities, or in proper cases discharging them from custody. The law of Virginia is very defective on this subject, and in these border counties, with the enemy around them, it is quite out of the question to pursue the ordinary slow course of prosecuting such cases.
A reply, if addressed to Charlestown, Jefferson County, Virginia, will reach me, though it may not be important that I should have one if proper instructions be given to the military authorities.
Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FREDERICKSBURG,
Brooke's Station, September 4, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:
GENERAL: In compliance with the instructions of the Secretary of War I have the honor to report, concerning the fortifications of Grey's Point, that I have no reason to suppose the enemy has or has had any intention of establishing himself there for any purpose, neither do I see any benefit he could derive from so doing.
With regard to the construction of a battery there by ourselves, I think Mr. Montague's calculations are erroneous: first, as to its effect to close the river; and, second, as to the number of men necessary to defend it. The distance across the channel (1 1/2 miles) is too great for the effective fire of any but rifled guns even in the daytime, while a whole fleet might pass without molestation by night. Should the enemy determine to attack the battery at all, the designated force would be but a tithe of what would be required to defend it, and situated as it is, within four or five hours of Fortress Monroe, with no greater garrison than that suggested, we might soon hear of another Hatteras. If I could detach two regiments from here I would, for the convenience of the people on the river, construct a battery at Grey's Point and another at Cherry Point, opposite; but I have not now a single soldier more than I think will be required to defend the batteries at Aquia Creek and those which are to be constructed at Evansport.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
TH. H. HOLMES,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.
RICHMOND, September 4, 1861.
General R. E. LEE, Staunton, Va.:
GENERAL: Your several communications were duly submitted to the President, who has read them with much satisfaction and fully approves of all you have done.* He has not ceased to feel and anxious desire for your return to this city to resume your former duties, even while satisfied of the importance of your presence in Western Virginia so long as
*No reports found.