Rapidan, April 6, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
C. S. A.:
GENERAL: I have just received your telegram of yesterday in cipher.* My suggestion, to which you refer, was based on the supposition that the enemy is advancing upon you. I cannot here compare the state of affairs in my front with that in front of others, and cannot, therefore, decide understanding whether troops are less needed here than elsewhere, which seems to me to be the question. He who directs military operations upon information from every department can.
The railroad is operating so slowly that there is abundant time to instruct me further.
General Stuart thinks that the Federal force near Cedar Run is about 10,000 and that there is no large body of troops at Manassas. General Jackson's two last reports represent the enemy near him quiet.
Your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Richmond, April 6, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of a report made to me by Lieutenant Commanding H. H. Lewis, in charge of the steamer Rappahannock, which vessel is actively co-operating with the army, from which you will observe that he has, upon the request of General Holmes, prepared four vessels, loading them with stone, to obstruct the Rappahannock River.
Lieutenant Lewis informs me that several other vessels might be similarly prepared, and I suggest that he be authorized to take such of them as he may deem best and get them ready for the purpose.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of War.
C. S. STEAMER RAPPAHANNOCK,
Fredericksburg, April 3, 1862.
Honorable S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: In obedience to instructions from you I have afforded every assistance in my power to Captain Rootes, in getting up timber for gunboats to this place, as well as the commissary, in towing up boats loaded with grain and supplies on the Rappahannock River.
Major General Gustavus W. Smith called upon me on the 27th of March to aid him in dismantling Fort Lowry and removing the guns and public property from that place to Fredericksburg, with which I promptly complied, and saved five out of eight guns.
I regret to state that a lighter was taken in tow by the steamer Virginia, whilst I was absent, by which we lost three fine guns, the lighter having been run under by great carelessness.