At Harden's Bluff General Lee is particularly desirous that two guns at least should be mounted for rear protection, and that the guns on the water front should be well traversed. He also suggests that a few large guns might be arranged on the bluff outside of and protected by the fort. Is it possible to do anything in that way? Separation and scattering of the guns, if possible, he considers the best disposition.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
ALFRED L. RIVES,
Acting Chief Engineer Bureau.
Richmond, Va., March 27, 1862.
Colonel L. B. NOTHROP,
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that 10,000 troops have been ordered and are expected to arrive in this city. A portion may be here to-night. It will be necessary to make provision at once for them .
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Rapidan, March 27, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
SIR: I received yesterday a letter from you dated March 25, in which you give me the President's orders to be prepared to move to Richmond, on the way to the Peninsula or Norfolk, with all the force I can, after proper dispositions on this line.
This afternoon I received by telegraph an order to send 10,000 men instead of the effective force named in your letter.
I beg leave, with all deference, to suggest to the President the expediency of transferring to the point about to be attacked the whole available force of this department. In making such a movement I would leave only such a line of outposts as would serve to mask it.
The division of the troops of this department made by the telegram of this afternoon leaves on this line a force too weak to oppose an invasion, and furnishes to the threatened point a re-enforcement too small to command success. For the sake of expedition I have ordered about 75,000 men from this vicinity by railroad to move to-morrow and 2,500 to be transported in the same manner from Fredericksburg.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
P. S.-Major-General Ewell's division is on the Rappahannock, near the bridge; the cavalry, about 1,100, beyond the river.
The divisions of Major-General Longstreet, Brigadier Gens. D. R. Jones, Early, and D. H. Hill, ten brigades, averaging near 2,000 men, are in this vicinity.
The corps of General Sumner was supposed to be at Cedar Run at 2 o'clock to-day, 12 miles from the Rappahannock.