War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0058 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PENINSULA,

Yorktown, March 6, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I stated in a conversation when in Richmond that I could spare for a limited period 5,000 men to operate near me, but that their places should be supplied by 5,000 militia.

This statement was made to Mr. R. M. T. Hunter, and the next morning I wrote him that upon reflection I did not think that more than 2,000 men could leave this department with safety, subject to the above conditions, and requested him, I think, to lay the statement before the President. I do not complain, but will abide with cheerfulness by any arrangement made by the Department, knowing the pressure everywhere.

I respond cordially to the friendly assurances of the Secretary of War, and will send him all the support in my power, but fear being misunderstood; hence my explanations of to-day.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

YORKTOWN, March 6, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

The troops intended for Suffolk will embark at King's Mill, near Williamsburg, and proceed by steamers to City Point and thence via Petersburg Railroad to Suffolk. This is rendered necessary by the want of wharf facilities at any other point, and will save time as well as a land march of more than 20 miles. The troops will be in readiness to cross to-morrow, 5,000 men and two batteries. When shall they cross? Please answer.

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

YORKTOWN, March 6, 1862.

(Received Richmond, March 6, 1862.)

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

No answer has been received in reply to my telegram of to-day saying the troops will be ready to embark to-morrow at King's Mill. The horses will be sent by land from the south side, except a few for the officers. The rolling stock of the City Point and Petersburg Railroad will be in place for the transportation of the troops to-day, awaiting the movement.

Detention will be attended with a heavy expense and inconvenience perhaps to the road.

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.