NAVY DEPARTMENT, SPECIAL SERVICE, Richmond, May 1, 1862.
Secretary of War, Present:
SIR: I beg to call your attention to our river defenses, and to say that the most effectual way of keeping off the enemy with his
shot-proof vessels is to mine the channel-ways and blow up by means of electricity when he attempts the passage.
I have the pleasure to inform you that there is now on the way to this city from Norfolk a God-send of about 10 miles of submarine wire that was lost by the enemy in the Chesapeake. It is just what we wanted. I have secured it from Dr. Morris, who has kindly placed it at my disposal for the public service, and I shall be happy to turn it over to you for such use as you may be pleased to direct to be made of it.
M. F. MAURY,
Commander, Confederate Navy.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT NORTHERN VIRGINIA, May 1, 1862.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding Left Wing, Yorktown:
GENERAL: The general commanding directs me to say that the movement agreed upon yesterday will take place to-morrow, the wagons to be loaded and sent to Williamsburg in the morning and the troops to move to-morrow night.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOS. G. RHETT,
P. S.-Details will be given hereafter.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION RESERVE, May 1, 1862.
MY DEAR GENERAL: Major-General Smith has just directed me to inquire of you what time your wagons will pass my camp, that I may have the road clear for you. He has ordered me also to be packed and ready to start at daylight, presuming that you will pass before. He also directs that the regiment heretofore ordered on picket will not be sent in to-night, but that in case of any emergency arising in the night any number may go in that may be necessary. I would suggest as a very good road, and materially aiding in getting the trains out on the Telegraph road, the beach a short distance from the town, where a road turns off, bringing one on the Telegraph road a short distance in my rear.
Very truly, yours,
W. H. C. WHITING,