The occupation of Gray's Point, however, on the Rappahannock, is of great importance, and Colonel Talcott has been directed to proceed there, for the purpose of establishing a battery. The three heavy guns which have gone to Fredericksburg you will send to him, on his requisition to that effect. The general approves of the organization which you have of the Virginia regiment.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Yorktown, Va., July 7, 1861.
Colonel GEORGE DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to report that, while fortifying Young's Mills and the mouth of Warwick River, on July 2, reports reached me that the enemy at Newport News Point, having been re-enforced from Fort Monroe, in consequence of our advance, would probably attack the position before I could make it secure, it being only eleven miles distant by land and an hor's voyage by water. I therefore ordered down the Fifth Louisiana and Sixth Georgia Regiments, and place them in reserve at and near Warwick Court-House, about two miles in the rear of Young's Mills. I strengthened this place then by erecting intrenchments for guns and breastworks for men both at the mouth of Warwick River and in rear of the mash connecting Young's Mill with the mouth of the river.
On the 3rd, late in the day, I received positive information that the enemy was passing large bodies of troops, with an extensive park of artillery, over Hampton Creek, and, as I had made young's Mills quite strong, I ordered several regiments to move, by a flank, to Harrod's Mills, on the York road, placing the Georgia and Alabama battalions in a deep forest between the two positions, so as to render support to either.
I left Lieutenant-Colonel Dreux in command at Young's Mills, with his own battalion of five hundred men, one company of rifles, two pieces of artillery, and one troops of cavalry, with written instructions as to the course he should pursue in any case that could occur. I proceeded then to Harrod's Mills and commenced fortifying it. At 9 o'clock I heard that Lieutenant-Colonel Dreux had determined to go in person down on the Warwick road, near Newport News, to cut off parties of the enemy that might come out the next morning. I regretted to hear it, as I left him in charge of the important post at Young's Mills. However, it was too late to prevent it, and early the next morning I received the intelligence that he had been killed in a skirmish with an advance party of the enemy, who after one or two fires, fled, leaving our men in possession of the field, with a loss of two killed and one wounded on our side; that of the enemy not known precisely, but supposed to be four killed and wounded.*
Lieutenant-Colonel Dreux was a gallant officer and accomplished gentleman. His loss is much lamented by all the regimental officers as well as myself, and is deplored by his battalion. His remains were buried, with religious ceremonies and military honors, to-day, as well as those of Private Hackett. Subsequently metallic coffins arrived from Richmond, and they were forwarded in them to Louisiana, at-
*See pp. 188-192.