War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0923 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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rels of rifle powder, to be sent at once to General Joseph E. Johnston, who made a pressing request for its immediate transmission, but I learn that your chief of ordnance has suspended the order. There are also 75 barrels of cannon powder in the Bellona Arsenal, which it would be very important to send to General Magruder for the heavy guns recently sent to Yourktown and Gloucester Point. Could you not do me the favor to put this powder at my disposal? I will settle for it on any reasonable terms, and it shall not be used out of the State.

Yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Acting Secretary of War.

P. S.-I am told that you have four 12-pounder bronze howitzer not in use. General Johnston is constantly asking for howitzers, and I will send them also to him if you will let me have them.

RICHMOND, October 27, 1861.

Major General T. H. HOLMES,

Commanding the Department of Aquia:

SIR: Intelligence has reached this Department from various sources that the Federal fleet in Hampton Road, with 25,000 men, is designed for the Rappahannock River, with the view of executing a flank movement upon your command. I think it proper to give you warning of the reported plan of attack, though the intimation of their intention to make such a movement may have ben thrown out to conceal their real purpose.

Colonel [George E.] Pickett, at Tappahannock, has been written to, with orders to call out all the local forces he can muster, armed with their own weapons, do the best he can, and wait your orders.

Your obedient servant,.

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Acting Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., October 27, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

SIR: We have received from several quarters information that the enemy intend a movement in force up the Rappahannock, and that he has about 25,000 men in the fleet now concentrated at Fort Monroe for that purpose. This may be a feint, or the information, although coming from friends, may have been allowed to lead out with the view of deceiving us, yet it is of sufficient importance to be sent to you. I send a private note to Colonel Jordan, the adjutant of General Beauregard, by special messenger. The note inclose a communication in cipher, sent to the President from some unknown quarter, and the President has an impression that Colonel Jordan has a key which will decipher it. If so, the contents will no doubt be communicated to you by General Beauregard, if of any importance. We have so many apparently reliable yet contradictory statements about the destination of this great expedition, that we are much at a loss to prepare defense against it. I have ordered up four or five unarmed regiments from Georgia and Alabama, and hope they will be her in a day or two. Let me know