Bethel Church, June 18, 1861.
General S. COOPER, Adjt. General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that I now occupy this post with the Second Louisiana Regiment, the Zouaves, to which I have attached the York and Wawrick companies, two batteries of artillery, and some cavalry, and that the Georgia regiment is so placed in our rear as to be able to watch the Poquosin River, to fall back upon Yorktown, or to support Bethel.
Yesterday a flag of truce was borne by Mr. Butler, aide-de-camp to General Butler, who was accompanied by Mr. Winthrop, brother of Major Winthrop (who was also on the staff of General Butler), and was killed on the 10th. The object was to ask the body of Major Winthrop. I had it disinterred and escorted by a detachment of artillery and a troop of dragoons to a farm-house beyond our works, where it was delivered to Mr. Butler with military honors to the deceased.
One off our vedettes, Private Prior, was cut off the day before yesterday, and killed. A lieutenant of Captain Adams' company of horse was shot in the leg by a picket of the Georgia regiment. I had directed a bandeau of white to be worn by our forces, but the Georgians had it not. The wound, though severe, is not considered mortal. Badges prescribed are worn now by the Georgians, and I hope no mistake of this serious nature will again occur.
I requested in a letter from Grive Landing that Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, Fifteenth Virginia Infantry, might be appointed colonel, and ordered to report to me. I have attached the York and Wawrick companies to the Zouaves, partly in order to give the battalion a colonel. In fact, the captains of the Zouaves called upon me in a body, and stated that they would be obliged to resign and serve as privates unless something was done, their lieutenant-colonel being, though a brave and good man, entirely without energy or the faculty to command. Whilst reminding them of the impropriety of their course, I saw that they were actuated by no ill or ignoble feeling. I ordered them there, under the command, of course, their lieutenant-colonel, and they obeyed promptly; but I am most anxious to have a colonel for this battalion-a man of some knowledge of his profession, and firmness-and I have learned it would not be distasteful to Lieutenant-Colonel Coppens himself, who will still be lieutenant-colonel. Please let this be done with as little delay as possible.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT NORTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
Beverly, June 18, 1861.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:
SIR: As already reported, I have four companies of cavalry under my command. I find that beyond Laurel Hill and the Buckhannon Pass there are so many country by-roads and cross-roads that this force is not quite sufficient to keep my command properly guarded. I therefore request that I may be supplied at the earliest practicable with two companies of well-armed and well-instructed cavalry.
The force which I found here is in a miserable condition as to ammunition