rebel capital, and of maintaining the honor, safety, and glory of the Union and its Army.
I pray you lay these views before the President, with a hopeful wish on my part that they will be impressed on his mind as forcibly as they are on mine. Truthful and conscientious I know them to be, and a firm conviction on my part, as well as General McClellan's, of the disaster which must follow in the one case and a glorious termination in the other.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, Harrison's Landing, Va., August 5, 1862.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Please say to the major-general commanding that if not called off to him to-morrow or likely to be next day, if it meets with his approval I would like to arrange next day to destroy all bridges ower Powell's Creek and to push to the Suffolk Railroad, destroying all bridges over branches of the Blackwater, which would tend to delay the enemy moving down on the right bank of James River.
If it meets with his approval I would like the aid of some of Colonel Averell's cavalry.
Will you please give me a reply at as early an hour as possible tomorrow?
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER,
P. S.-I expect by this to secure for co-operation a portion of the gunboats now employed to protect boats against artillery on the river; at all events for a short time. Other reasons will be manifest.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Near Richmond, August 5, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of yesterday's date, reporting that a boat sent from one of the United States gunboats near Jamestown Island to ascertain the cause of the display of a white flag on the shore had been fired into by a party of troops secreted in the bushes.
I regret the circumstance, which, if true, is unauthorized. From the locality mentioned I am led to believe that the party alluded to were not soldiers of the army. It may be probable that boats have landed men who by their acts have exasperated persons on the river, who took this method to revenge their grievances.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,