from the State to the Confederate authorities, I inquired of General Lee if this transfer involved the necessity of "mustering" the Virginia troops into the service of the Confederate States, but received no answer. Lieutenant Washington was desired to obtain an answer to this question when in Richmond recently, and brought an affirmative verbal one.
An order in relation to the muster of the Virginia troops at the end of June, which followed him from General Lee's headquarters, contained nothing on the subject, so that I am still uncertain.
If this form is necessary, be so good as to give me instructions. I have had no official information of the transfer of the Virginia troops to the Confederate Government.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
Loring's Mill, Warwick Road, Va., June 30, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dreux, about eighteen hundred strong, arrived here yesterday at 3 p. m., after a most arduous march, without meeting with the enemy, although we sought him under the guns of his works at Newport News.
The command started at 11 o'clock at night on the 28th instant, under my immediate orders, and marched, in a drenching rain, to near the points where the enemy's sentinels were reported to be posted. Before our arrival, however, at that point, I caused a thorough examination to be made of the bridge at New Market and its immediately vicinity, and could find no evidence of its being fortified or even occupied. One of the objects of this night march, as I wrote the commanding general, was to surprise the enemy at that point, if in occupation of it, and to drive him back into his works. Finding no enemy here, I determined to pass, by a private road, to within a mile or a mile and a half of Newport News, to conceal my cavalry in the wood which skirts the road leading from that place to Fort Monroe, to place my infantry in ambush on a parallel road an near enough to give support to the cavalry, and await daybreak and the passage of parties between the two posts. I proceeded to execute this plan, not without hope, from the extreme inclemency of the weather and the suddenness of our movement, of being able to surprise and capture the work itself, which, I am told, is garrisoned by at least four thousand men. We had arrived in the immediate vicinity of the post, when a musket was discharged by one of our own men, and two negroes were seen running towards the enemy, making it very improbable that we should be able to accomplish our purpose by surprise. We nevertheless continued our march, and learning from a negro that some two hundred men of the enemy were quartered in a house near the work, I determined to surround it. It was now daylight. I therefore sent the cavalry in front of the house, while the infantry filed through a road in its rear, but, upon examination, it was found the enemy did not occupy it that night, having perhaps been deterred from turning out of their work by the violent rain. I nevertheless concealed my men as much as possible, showing a few of the cavalry, in order to entice a portion of the garrison to come out. They, however, remained close, and as I intended to return to Yorktown by the Warwick road, I marched up to this point, where I am establishing a post, stopping, however, three hours in sight of Newport News, in order to rest the men. We visited