authority over the garrison. I have found some things contrary to my idea of what is right,and I deem it due to you and to myself to state them and request their correction,and to tell you frankly what will be may action in the man time.
I was ordered here by General Magruder, by the desire of General Lee, to "assume command of the battery" at this place. I know nothing of the connection between the artillery companies of the garrison and the infantry companies under your command, but by the terms of my orders I am held responsible for the efficiency of this battery, and to secure that I must have entire control of the garrison. Under the present, which I presume has your sanction, I have not the necessary control. It is necessary that I should have my own guard, my own officer of the day, and my own adjutant. I must also have the power to punish any officer or man who may merit it, or I cannot have the discipline or efficiency which are requisite and for which I am held responsible. I find one of the officers under my command, Lieutenant A. M. Braxton, of the Varina Artillery, detailed a quartermaster and commissary of the battalion. I need his services at the guns, and I respectfully request that he be relieved from his present duty and ordered to rejoin his company. Another of the lieutenants under my command, Lieutenant Baskerville, of White's artillery, was a day or two since detailed and sent to Norfolk for powder without my knowledge or consent.
I find all the officers of the two artillery companies under my command detailed for battalion duty as officers of day and guard, thus taking them from my command, and I find infantry officers of day and guard, over whom I have no control, exercising authority in my command. These things cannot be and the efficiency of the battery maintained.
The garrison is too small as it is. The officers and men need much instruction and drill. I need every officer of both companies, and must respectfully request that they be relieved from battalion duty entirely, and that they shall not be detailed for any duty whatever except by me. It is essential that they should devote every hour of their time to drill and study. We may at any moment be called upon to fight a desperate fight, requiring all the skill and acknowledge and practice that can be brought to bear to make it successful, and I find that some of the officers and most of the men do not know how to load or fire a gun. I consider it essential that every nerve be strained to acquire skill and efficiency in the branch of the service to which they belong, and therefore I must respectfully request, for the sake of good order and discipline and efficiency, that the companies be turned over entirely to me until the Secretary of War decides whether this garrison is under the command of the senior officer of the battalion or under my command.
All the officers and men are dissatisfied with the present state of affairs, and cannot feel that interest and spirit which are essential to good discipline and efficiency.
I deem myself duty fully justified by my orders in altering the existing arrangement to some extent. I have therefore published an order (General Orders, No. 1), a copy of which I send you*, which, as far as I am aware, does not conflict with any order that you have given.
It is due to you in courtesy as well as in right that I should state my view of the case, and ask your concurrence therein, before making