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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 33, Part 1 (New Berne)
Page 1285 Chapter XLV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

ginia. No attack of moment can be made upon Charleston or the Southern coast during the summer months, and I think General Johnston can draw with impunity some troops from Mobile to him. Buckner's force, too, might be made available in some way; I fear as he stands now it will be lost to us. At present my hands are tied. If I was able to move, with the aid of Longstreet and Pickett, the enemy might be driven from the Rappahannock and be obliged to look to the safety of his own capital instead of the assault upon ours. I cannot even draw to me the cavalry or artillery of the army, and the season has arrived when I may be attacked any day. The scarcity of our supplies gives me the greatest uneasiness. All travel should be suspended on the railroad until a sufficiency is secured. I can have a portion of the corn ground into meal for the army if it is sent to me. I do not know whether all can be furnished. The mills are mostly on the Rapidan, and consequently exposed if any movement takes place. It will also increase the hauling, which at this time I should like to avoid if possible. If the meal can be prepared in Richmond it will be more convenient at this time. If it cannot, we can at least grind part of the corn if sent to us. If we are forced back from our present line the Central Railroad, Charlottesville, and all the upper country will be exposed, and I fear great injury inflicted on us.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General


HEADQUARTERS, April 16, 1864.

General BRAXTON BRAGG,

Commanding Armies of Confederate States:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 13th, inclosing a copy of a communication from Colonel Gorgas in reference to the large proportion of artillery with this army. I have never found it too large in battle, and it has generally been opposed by about 300 pieces of the enemy of larger caliber, longer range, and with more effective ammunition. If, however, its equipment overtaxes the means of the Ordnance Department, or, as you suggest, its supply of horses cannot be kept up, that decides the question, and no argument on the subject is necessary. Taking the European standard of three guns for every 1,000 men, based upon the experience of their wars, no ours, the number of guns in this army will fall short, provided the regiments are filled to the minimum allowed by law. I think Colonel Gorgas is correct in not adhering to this standard when the organizations recede from their maximum of strength. Taking his own standard, and allowing five guns to each brigade, we ought to have 230 guns. Longstreet has twelve brigades, Ewell thirteen, Hill fourteen, and the cavalry (including the Carolina brigade being organized) seven-forty-six brigades. Taking Colonel Gorgas' statement as correct, which I have not time to verify, there are in this army 197 guns; with General Longstreet 27, and in the Washington Artillery (if full) 16=238 [240]. The excess is not large, but going back to the European standard we have 206 regiments. Taking the minimum and not the maximum of strength (206x640=131,840), and allowing three guns for every 1,000 men (131,840/3)=395 guns. Our aggregate present and absent would give us more. I differ from


Page 1285 Chapter XLV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 33, Part 1 (New Berne)
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