Abstract from return of the Department of Norfolk Major General Benjamin Huger, commanding, for January 1862.
Present for duty.
Station. Troops Officer Men. Aggreg Aggreg Piece
. s. ate ate s of
presen presen artil
t. t and lery.
Smithfield. First 147 2,752 3,329 3,637 46
Norfolk. Second 231 3,715 4,756 5,224 64
Portsmouth. Third 227 3,810 4,776 5,177 6
Craney Island. 34 525 687 747 44
Suffolk. 40 632 850 903 .
Fort Nelson. 8 140 154 184 16
Garri 4 82 94 94 14
Pinner's 4 108 123 152 11
Tanner's 3 52 61 68 5
Lambert's 7 93 119 135 10
Navy-yard. 15 140 278 300 .
Saunde 3 31 45 47 .
Young 4 76 80 93 .
Total. 727 12,25 15,352 16,761 *216
* 24 pieces field and 192 pieces heavy artillery.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA. Yorktown, Va., February 1, 1862.
SIR: I have been so constantly occupied since my arrival on this Peninsula that I have not had time to make to the War Department the reports necessary, perhaps, to a clear understanding of my operations. When I took command there were no works on the James River below Jamestown, no fortifications at Williamsburg, Yorktown, or Gloucester Point, with the exception of one gun at Yorktown and perhaps two at Gloucester Point. I had to defend a Peninsula 90 miles in length and some 10 miles in width, inclosed between two navigable rivers, terminated by fortresses impregnable as long as the enemy commanded the waters. My force was less than 3,000 men, the enemy never less than 12,000 and sometimes as high as 25,000, and always within a day's march of us. I had neither adjutant, quartermaster, commissary, nor any staff officer whatever, and an army unfamiliar with the simplest military duties.
I devoted a day or two to necessary arrangements for subsisting the army, and, calling on the sheriff of the county as a guide, made a tour on horseback of the lower part of the Peninsula, in order to get some knowledge of the country. Seeing at a glance that three broad rivers could not be defended without fortifications, and that these never could be built if the enemy knew our weakness and want of preparation, I determined to display a portion of my small force in this immediate presence, and upon this forthwith selected Bethel as a place at which a small force could best give him battle should he advance.
Returning to Yorktown, I called upon Mr. R. F. Lee, who had mills on that stream, to show me the line of Warwick River, which rises near Yorktown, flows across the county, and enters James River a little below Mulberry Point, where there is now a fort. Having made this exploration. I determined to adopt this line to Mulberry Point as the true line of defense whenever its right flank, on james River, could be protected by water batteries.