War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0446 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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I am directed by the major-general commanding to write the above.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Acting Aide-de-Camp.

LEE'S FARM, April 17, 1862.

Colonel B. S. EWELL:

Send a courier to meet General G. W. Smith's command, now marching down the Peninsula, and inform him and all other troops that they must hurry on in the most rapid manner, as we are struggling against great odds here, and every moment is of importance.


Major-General, Commanding.

LEE'S FARM, April 17, 1862.


Secretary of War:

I have urgently to request that you will ask the President to order the two tugs now in Norfolk, and which can be of no possible use there, the Beaufort and Raleigh, to Captain Webb, at Mulberry Island Point, immediately. They each carry a rifled 32-pounder, and would be of immense importance to prevent the enemy from crossing the Warwick and operating on James River. They draw but 5 feet, and can only pass Newport News by keeping close into shore around Pig Point.

I have also to request that when the Merrimac comes out the Patrick Henry be ordered to Mulberry Island Point, the Jamestown being left with the Merrimac; the force there must be left to itself, the step being indispensable to the safety of the army, and would be entirely secure if the ships and gunboats mentioned occupied the positions indicated, the Virginia being at the mouth of the river, and by this means my line would be very much shortened and strengthened, and the army be less in danger than at present. I have run already great risk by the length of my line, waiting for instructions upon this important subject from the War Department.

I have now determined to leave the fort to its fate, having every confidence in its strength, if these arrangements are made.


Major-General, Commanding.


Richmond, Va., April 17, 1862.

Major General J. B. MAGRUDER,

Commanding, &c., Yorktown, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 13th instant with reference to arms for General Wilcox is received.

I am informed that the arms turned over by General Wilcox at Gordonsville have been distributed to unarmed troops at that point by the ordnance officer in charge. There are, however, in the hands of Captain Alexander a sufficient number of arms not otherwise appropriated to supply the unarmed men of General Wilcox. Those arms are now