ments and my own. My general line of operations in very much in the direction of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, while your would be, in the present attitude of the enemy, through Aquia Creek to Dumfries and Occoquan. Our lines would thus converge upon Alexandria and the enemy's position beyond. The line of the Potomac to the mouth of the Aquia, flanking your line, as indicated, as well as mine, at least as far back as this point, it is exceedingly important that we should have strong outposts at Aquia, Dumfries, and Occoquan, at either of which places the enemy could enter and land by boats, and take me in flank and your own position in front. By establishing a strong force at these points indicated, we shall prevent surprise, hold the enemy in check along the Potomac, which flanks this line of operations from here to Alexandria, while we shall, at the same time, hold ourselves in position by a connected chain of posts for reciprocal support and intelligence and for prompt co-operation. In order to effect the objects indicated in general terms above, you will place at Dumfries a detachment, consisting, if practicable, or as soon as it may be practicable, of at least one battalion of infantry (rifles would be best), one section (two guns) of rifled cannon, Walker's battery, and a troop or two of cavalry, while a similar force should be placed at Occoquan as soon as it may be practicable to do so.
I am well aware of the difficulties you may have in fulfilling literally these commands in this incipient stage of organization of your force. I must, therefore, trust to your discipline to do whatever may be practicable for the present, to be followed up as future circumstances may allow. The troops from Prince William, now at Dumfries and Occoquan, and any other troops that may be there, will remain at those posts, respectively, and be strengthened as circumstances will allow to do so, as above indicated. This post will be promptly put in connection with Occoquan by outposts, pickets, vedettes, and patrols, and it would be exceedingly desirable to establish a similar unbroken chain of communication between Occouquan, Dumfries, Aquia, and Fredericksburg.
Very truly, &c.,
PHILIP ST. GEO. COCKE.
DIVISION HDQRS., Harper's Ferry, Va., May 11, 1861.
Major General R. E. LEE:
GENERAL: The precautions mentioned in your letter of the 6th instant have been under consideration for some time, and some of them have been taken; others are progressing as rapidly as the circumstances admit of. I have troops also at Berlin, Shepherdstown, and Martinsburg. Marylanders, with artillery, are opposite Shepherdstown, and have threatened us there to such an extent as to induce the officer stationed there to call on me for artillery; and though I can poorly spare it, yet, under the circumstances, I must comply. Previous to receiving your letter I had authorized the payment of $5 for the best arms, and graded pieces below that. My report for yesterday* will show the strength of the command. I can get enough volunteers from the counties named to swell the force to probably four thousand five hundred; but they are without arms, accouterments, and ammunition. Please send me five thousand good muskets and rifles, with complete equip-