companies there, and I thought it necessary to bring two of them over to this side. One or both of these companies I think should be returned, that the vedette duties may be properly performed. Colonel Crump, the commanding officer at Gloucester Point, earnestly makes this request.
By command of Major-General Magruder:
A. G. DICKINSON.*
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA, Lee's Farm, April 21, 1862.
Colonel B. S. EWELL:
SIR: I am instructed by General Magruder to say to you that the houses unoccupied, or that have been left by their proprietors, be the first that are taken for hospitals. You will next take all houses occupied by males alone. Then all public officer must be vacated and the occupants go into tents.
The guard will be removed from the court-house or other buildings they may occupy and tents be furnished them. Hope's Hotel must also be used before private families are forced to give up their residences. Then, if the sick and wounded should still require accommodations, the house in question (Bowder's), or any other house where it is possible for the inmates to procure accommodations, must be used and the occupants removed.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. DICKINSON,
MONDAY NIGHT, April 21, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, C. S. A.:
The enemy is establishing a battery where by a singular oversight we had not a single gun to reply to it. I have placed two columbiads (8-inch) to reply to them. There are many grave defects in the main bastion, and the demi-bastions are all subject to reverse fires.
As I feel it to be my duty to do everything possible for the defense of Yorktown, I have sent up an officer to get send backs, and if possible one long-range gun, well supplied with ammunition, together with all possible ammunition for the guns now on hand.
It is very plain that with our defective artillery and munitions we cannot contend with the enemy using his favorite arms. My only hope has been that our forces would be so increased as to enable us to meet the rascals in the open field. But they certainly outnumber us now two to one, and our sick list is fearfully increasing.
Two-thirds of our men have no tents. Exposure, fatigue, loss of sleep, and hard work are sending hundreds to the rear every day. Could not our whole available force be thrown here and the war ended by one crushing blow?
I think it likely that Burnside has sent a large part of his force here. The enemy is concentrating around Corinth and Yorktown. We must do the same, else we will be beaten at both points, and the Southern
*I sign this communication, as General Magruder is suffering very much with his arm.-A. G. D.