War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0491 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, May 3, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:

GENERAL: Officers returning from the Peninsula have represented to the President that many men are leaving there on sick leave, surgeon's certificate,&c., and that there is great danger of the arms with which they have been intrusted not being turned in to the proper officers, and of their being misplaced and lost. The scarcity of arms makes him very solicitous upon the subject, and he has directed that na officer of the Ordnance Department be sent down to aid your ordnance officer, under such directions as you may give him, in collecting and securing their arms. Mr. M. P. Taylor, military storekeeper, has been designated by Colonel Gorgas for this duty, and is the bearer of this letter.

It will be a great relief to the commanders of your division, brigades, and regiments when your time will permit you to designate officers for ordnance duty, as prescribed in General Orders, No. 24.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS, Lee's House, May 3, 1862.-3 p.m.

Major General D. H. HILL:

DEAR GENERAL: It is impossible now to get the vessels you want in time. We have to telegraph. The superintendent took away the operator from Williamsburg without consulting me, a little in the state of mind of your men who deserted, I suppose. I am sorry that you published the order for evacuation; that was not expected It is not likely, however, that the man went to the enemy. Leave the enemy as little valuable property as you can.

Respectfully and truly, yours,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

HEADQUARTERS, Lee's House, May 3, 1862-4 p.m.

Major-General HILL:

GENERAL: I have just received the note received in the memorandum book. I think that the state of things at Gloucester Point must be greatly exaggerated; otherwise Colonel Crump, in whom you have given me confidence, would have reported to you. It is too late to make the change proposed, nor is it likely that any new man could exercise the command so advantageously as Colonel Crump. As the place is to be evacuated (your plan and Colonel Crump's was to do so the night after your movement), the advantages you propose of saving stores and the sick supplies of Gloucester cannot be accomplished. All that the commanding officer there can accomplish, after remaining the time designated by you, will be to bring his command safely to the troops on the Fredericksburg road or to join us near Richmond, as he may find easiest.

Respectfully and truly, yours,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

I wish that you had send to Colonel Crump to ascertain from him the precise state of things, and whether he cannot control his troops.

J. E. J.