War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0430 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Magruder informs me that their gunboats and transports have appeared off Shipping Point, on the Poquosin, near the mouth of the York, where they intend apparently to establish a landing for stores, preparatory to moving against our lines at Yorktown.

They could easily ascend York and the Pamunkey Rivers with their gunboats and transports as high as the railroad bridge over the latter if they succeed in passing the defenses at Yorktown.

I respectfully suggest for your consideration the practicability of the Virginia's passing Fort Monroe in the night to York River. She could by destroying the enemy's gunboats and transports thwart this design. After effecting this object she could again return to Hampton Roads under cover of night. I would, however, recommend that the Virginia, previously to an attempt against the enemy in York River, should strike a blow at their transports and shipping in Hampton Roads and the bay outside of Forts Monroe and Calhoum, so as to prevent the possibility of an attack on Norfolk. In this manner she could so cripple their means of supplying their army as to prevent its moving against Richmond, while she would deter any movement against Norfolk. Coal could be sent by railroad and York River to Yorktown for her use.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Richmond, Va., April 8, 1862.

Major CLAIBORNE,

Assistant Commissary Subsistence, &c.:

MAJOR:General Lee directs me to say that it will be necessary to make provision for 30,000 men on the Peninsula, in addition to the old army under Major-General Magruder. This addition comes from Northern Virginia, where a less amount of provisions will be required than heretofore.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA,

Lee's Farm, April 8, 1862.

General R. E. LEE,

Richmond:

SIR: I send Lieutenant-Colonel Ball to Richmond to bring down a thousand additional negroes. I find the time too short to get these negroes from the neighboring counties, which would require two or three weeks. I want them to erect works in the rear, which may enable me to save this army in case of being overpowered by numbers and forced to retreat from my present position.

Field guns are necessary to defend the new work at Mulberry Point, just completed for land defense. It is very strong. It also mounts eight very heavy guns, and will probably be able to stand a siege of a month, but in consequence of the slowness of fire of the large guns there must be at least eight field pieces in the work. There are eight field pieces in the work below it across the little peninsula, which were intended for this larger work, on which my right flank rests. If this