YORKTOWN, VA., April 26, 1862-11 a.m.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
GENERAL: The enemy has thrown up a parallel this side of Wormley's Creek and in front of the woods. The work was done last night. He threw up a line of investment before Redoubts 4 and 5 night before last. He has not fired a shot from the land side for a week.
The shipping has fired a good deal, but as yet without hurting any one or anything.
I referred to the present exhaustion of the troops in Yorktown. Ten days ago there was not a traverse constructed against enfilade and reverse fire; there was not a magazine properly covered, and there was scarcely a heavy gun on the land side which could be brought to bear on certain points. All this work has been done by the troops here; in addition, they have had to land all the guns, forage, and commissary stores. I have withdrawn all the negro force from the outworks and will try to relieve the troops here. Fifty more negroes here would give a great relief by being turned over to the quartermaster and commissary. Some 300 negroes were sent up to fix up the outworks ten or fifteen days ago. A large portion of these have reported sick and have left.
Five 8-inch columbiads have arrived since my assignment to duty. These have been placed on the land side. An 8-inch howitzer has also come and been placed in position.
There are now at the wharf a 10-inch columbia and a 5.82-inch rifle. The latter is a Richmond gun, and I am afraid of it. For every gun we will get the Yankees will have ten of an infinitely superior character. We have about 60 rounds for each heavy gun. I understand that there are about 200 rounds per gun at Jamestown Island. As the island must fall if Yorktown does, would it be practicable to get some ammunition from it?
I would be glad to have authority to draw tents from Williamsburg to take the place of the huts the men are now using. These huts ought to be destroyed.
A company of Hood's riflemen placed in the Peyton battery near the wharf might succeed in stopping the passage of the gunboats by killing the the crew. The distance to he main channel is less than half a mile.
With great respect,
D. H. HILL,
P. S.-Is Pryor's regiment subject to my orders? It is my line, but Colston claims it and sends orders.
HDQRS. RIGHT WING, ARMY OF THE PENINSULA, Lee's Farm, April 26, 1862.
Major THOMAS G. RHETT,
MAJOR: I would respectfully call the attention of the general commanding to the fact that Cobb's brigade went into the trenches the day before yesterday and that I have no troops to relieve them,
having been compelled to march up from Lee's Mill the other day August's brigade to relieve in part the troops of Toomb's division. Pettigrew's
30 R R-VOL XI, PT III