for the reasons specified in a former letter, and because of the invulnerability of iron-clad vessels of proper build.
When you expressed your confidence in the ability of a 64-pounder to contend with an iron-clad vessel you were not aware that 180-pounder solid shot had been used at 20 yards' range for four hours without appreciable effect; at least such is the information I received here.
I would take occasion here to might infer from what you see near Williamsburg that I am in favor of them. I was, when they were commenced, completely inexperienced, and acted under instructions. I now and have known for some months past that the system is most defective, making a line equally strong it is true, but equally weak at the same time. When one small redoubt is carried, which can easily be done, the troops cease to have confidence in the whole line, and the defense, in consequence, is most defective.
My views I believe you know with regard to mobilizing the army, and having but few works, and those of a strong character and thoroughly flanked. There are certain inferior works of great utility, however, but they should generally be masked in the edge of woods and open in the rear; rifle pits, for instance, or positions for light artillery with a simple embankment in front. As you are doubtless excessively busy at present, and I know do not exactly agree with me on the subject of the intrenched camp, I propose to place that work under Captain Clarke, as well as the defenses of the Warwick River below Lee's Mill. From Mulberry Island, his present location, he can easily direct these works. I shall write at once to General Magruder on the subject, but before doing so thought it would be agreeable to you to learn of the proposed arrangement through the bureau.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
ALFRED L. RIVES,
Acting Chief, Engineer Bureau.
NORFOLK, VA., March 21, 1862.
The nineteen steamers and six schooners which arrived at Hampton Roads day before yesterday with troops went to sea this morning from Old Point about 11 o'clock a.m.
JAS. F. MILLIGAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PENINSULA, Half-way House, near Bethel, March 21, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding C. S. Army, Richmond:
GENERAL: In consequences of the equinoctial storm, the exposure of the men in an advanced position without tents, the increasing impracticability of the roads between the line of Young's Mill and Harwood's Mill and that of Warwick River, and the very large re-enforcements of the enemy, as indicated by my previous reports, I ordered all the troops on the line of Langhorne's Mill and Bethel to resume their position on the line of Warwick River, except the Tenth Georgia Regiment and 300 cavalry left at Young's Mill, and Goggin's battalion and 200 cavalry