I know you will [do] whatever is possible, and that you will only follow the dictates of your own good judgment and true patriotism. The anxiety of the reckless and the short-sighted policy of the selfish may urge you to fight when your judgment decides otherwise. The responsibility is great. I have tried for a week to get off and join you, but have not been able to do so, without having arrangements for procuring and forwarding troops to be delayed if not deranged.
I have ordered two officers of experience to go to you to-morrow; Colonel Forney's regiment, will, I suppose, get off in the morning, if not this evening, and more shall go as fast as the railroad will permit. General Beauregard is expecting an attack, and asks for ten thousand men. Magruder wants four thousand. Garnett is lamentably weak, but with re-enforcements now on the way will, I hope, prevent a junction of McClellan and Patterson. Mansfield was reported to be in Washington on yesterday.
May God bless and direct you in this critical hour of our national existence.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES,
Richmond, Va., July 11, 1861.
Brigadier General T. H. HOLMES,
Commanding, &c., Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 10th instant has just been received. It is not the intention at present to establish a battery at Mathias Point, nor until everything is prepared, guns, troops, &c., for its speedy erection. It is, therefore, desirable, as you have already been advised, to allay the enemy's anxiety in reference to that point. Had troops never been posted there, I think it probable, as you state, that it would be viewed as of no more importance than other points on the river. But their attention having been attract to it, and as it must be known to exercise a command over the river, I now fear, if not held by us, it will be seized by them and defended by intrenchments which it might be difficult for us to capture. If it was known that there was no intention of constructing batteries there, their apprehensions on this subject might be allayed and the troops out of sight, and seating a vigilant watch, prepared at any time to prevent its occupation and intrenchment, it might be all that was necessary. But upon this point you must exercise your own judgment, taking especial care to retain the point in our own possession.
R. E. LEE,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, July 12, 1861.
Brigadier General H. A. WISE, Charleston, Kanawha, Va.:
GENERAL: I have your letter of 3rd instant.* As Colonel J. L. Davis, who was left here in charge of the recruitment of your legion, has proceeded to join you, and as the legion has already overrun the numbers