War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0457 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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was easy to have a rigid examination previous to doing this. I am now informed, however, that large number under this order are being sent to Richmond daily, which might recover in a few days, and that the army is thus being rapidly diminished. I therefore respectfully recommend that my order be revoked, and that encampments capable of accommodating the sick be established near Grove's Wharf, at which place a commissary might be stationed and supplied furnished from Richmond; tents are being procured for this purpose.

I have also the honor to recommend that an order be issued directing that the sick arriving in Yorktown be equally divided by the Nelson Hospital, in charge of Dr. Coffin, and the new general hospital, in charge of Dr. Page.

I deem it my duty to make these recommendations to the commanding general, as from long administration of this department I am perhaps better acquainted with their necessity than others more recently arrived, my desire being to render to the commanding general all of the assistance in my power.

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

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. RIGHT WING, ARMY OF THE PENINSULA, Lee's Farm, April 22, 1862.

Major THOMAS G. RHETT,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Dept.of Northern Virginia:

MAJOR: I have the honor to call the attention of the commanding general to the incomplete defenses on the Curtis farm line (our right flank), connecting Skiff Creek with Lee's Mill, and to request that the particular attention of the chief engineer and his disposable force be given to perfecting them.

The rifle pits already made, connecting the redoubts, are very weak, and a portion of the line so low that the trench is full of water, and the ground rising in front would shorten the fire of our sharpshooter.

The woods obstruct the fire of our artillery, which would probably, if a small belt of woods were removed, command the Mulberry Island road to a long distance, firing down Curti's field. The possible occupation of Cosnahan's battery (our advanced work) by the enemy at an early day invests this matter with the deepest interest.

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

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. RIGHT WING, ARMY OF THE PENINSULA, Lee's Farm, April 22, 1862.

Colonel EWELL:

SIR: I am instructed to direct you to have merlons constructed and put to the right and left of the navy guns at Sprately's, extending at least five or six yards on each side, and by placing heavy logs over the embrasures and covering them at least 6 feet thick with earth he can protect and casemate the guns in a great measure. This applies to the navy guns on ship carriages. The guns mounted in barbette can remain so for the present. Merlons could be rapidly constructed with sand bags, 5,000 or 6,000 being sufficient, covering them with wet earth to obscure them, so that they would nor present a shining mark to the