I have already informed General Holmes, through his aide, Colonel Lacy, of the necessity of establishing a battery and supporting force at the mouth of the former creek, but I am unable to do at present for the reason given above; hence I would be happy to have him do it if in his power. I would suggest also the necessity of establishing immediately a telegraph station near your headquarters and another near those of Lieutenant-Colonel Green, at Camp Chopawamsic, near Evansport, so as to be in telegraphic communication with this place, via Richmond, for a most thorough and perfect concert of action must exist between our different military departments to insure victory to our arms and success to our glorious cause.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
P. S.-What has become of the probable hot-shot furnace I sent to General Lee from Charleston for the defense of the Potomac? It ought to be at Aquia Creek. I beg you send a copy of this letter, through General Holmes, to the Secretary of War, with such remarks as both may wish to add to it.
Brooke's Station, June 18, 1861.
I disagree with General Beauregard as to the propriety of detaching any part of this command.
The point designated by him is entirely out of reach of Aquia Creek. If this command is relieved, it should be on the supposition that there is no danger to be apprehended of an invasion from near here, and in that event nearly the whole command should be sent.
TH. H. HOLMES,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES,
Norfolk, Va., June 17, 1861.
Major General R. E. LEE, Commanding Forces, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have had reports for a week past that the Lincoln forces were putting artillery on the Ripraps. I presumed at the time it was prevent small vessels from passing to the southward of it.
On Saturday afternoon the command at Sewell's Point was surprised by a rifled shell passing just over the battery, and exploding some hundred yards beyond. Some eight or ten shells were fired, but no others fell so near the battery. Some went near the camp of the Georgia battalion, near half a mile distant. The distance from the Ripraps to the battery is point three and five-eights miles. I immediately ordered a lighter load of railroad iron sent down, and commenced work, securing the magazine and battery from the effect of these shells, and, as it is a long shot, the men will learn to dodge them. I am pushing on the work of fortifying the battery. The shells proved to be 32-pounder caliber, of Sawyer's pattern, flanges projectile, covered with composition metal, and having a concussion fuse. They did not fire at all yesterday (Sunday). Last evening I received a report that a small propeller was lying