me that I was authorized by you to do this; that is, to call out all the militia I could arm.
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
ADJT. AND INSP. General 's OFFICE, Numbers 13. Richmond, January 16, 1862.
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V. Authority is granted Major-General Magruder to call upon the commanding officers of all regiments, battalions, and companies, attached to the Army of the Peninsula, for the names of all ship carpenters and joiners in their respective commands, and to grant furloughs to such mechanics, for the purpose of working on gunboats in such numbers and at such times as the public safety may permit. A;; men so furloughed will be directed to report to the Secretary of the Navy.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA,
Yorktown, January 23, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt last night of a letter from the Secretary of War, expressing his disapprobation of my having impressed the slaves of Chesterfield Country, and directing me to countermand it.
In answer I have to state that before the reception of this letter my agent, Mr. Junius Lamb, through whom I communicated my wishes to the people of Chesterfield, had informed me that nine-tenths of that community were willing to send their slaves to work on the public fortifications in this Peninsula, but that some four of five citizens objected, and employed counsel to proceed to Richmond to lay the case before the Secretary of War and President; that the counsel had returned and stated that the President would issue a proclamation condemning this course and forbidding it for the future. I immediately wrote to you that this last call an Chesterfield and the neighboring counties was made to meet the requisitions of the engineers under my command until the negroes who were being hired by authority of the Government, which I found to be a slow operation, should arrive.
The Government had granted me authority to hire negroes, but I found it occupied more time and was attended with more difficultly than had been represented to me. The unsafe condition of the defenses of James River had been represented to the Department, in a report of the Chief of Artillery, Colonel G. W. Randolph, and the engineer here in charge, Mr. St. John, which report was strongly indorsed by myself.
The work at Gloucester Point, ordered by the Engineer Department at Richmond, was not half finished. The works at Yorktown, though
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