War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0434 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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as will retard their advance from the rivers to the interior of the country in your rear. The object of all the precautions advised by me is to secure and keep open the best practicable route by which you can retire behind Chickahominy in the event of the enemy's getting in the rear of your lines at Williamsburg in the manner indicated and forcing you to withdraw behind that river.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.


Richmond, Va., April 9, 1862.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding Department, Yorktown, Va.:

GENERAL: In reply to your several telegrams of yesterday, requesting that caps, ammunition, wagons, and negroes be sent to you, I am directed by General Lee to say that all that is possible is being done toward supplying your necessities. Two days ago a large quantity of ammunition was forwarded by way of James River for your command. In addition to the caps with the small-arm ammunition, 60,000 finest quality English caps were sent.

Powder, lead, and other material are very scarce, and the demand from all sides great and urgent.

The general desires you to impress upon the commanding officers the great importance of caring for the ammunition and preventing its waste by the men. The wagon transportation is being forwarded with all possible dispatch. The troops move by rail and boats and of course precede the wagons by some days, but the Quartermaster's Department is directed to hasten them forward, and is doing its utmost in that way.

As regard the negroes which you request to be sent you, the general thinks it unadvisable under the present circumstances that they should be placed in such near proximity to the enemy. It would be unsafe, and in event of an engagement they would be much in the way. He thinks the troops could be employed upon the works in question.

The troops from the Department of Northern Virginia will carry ammunition with them.

The Quartermaster-General has been made aware of your need of horses, and will supply them as soon as possible.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


General R. E. LEE,


SIR: Since my last communication I find that the enemy are throwing up heavy batteries in front, threatening the most important point of my line, Yorktown. By a glance at the map you will see, if he breaks the line there, what the consequences will be.

I find that 5,000 spades at least are necessary and 1,000 axes. I understand