War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0492 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

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HEADQUARTERS, Lee's House, May 3, 1862-12.10 p.m.

Major-General HILL:

GENERAL: I have just received the letter by your aide-de-camp. I have no telegraphic communication. The office in Williamsburg was broken up without my knowledge and contrary to my wishes.

I cannot get the horses you mention for artillerists. We have no public ones; those of the cavalry are private property. There can be no difficulty in the movement of your artillerists. So small a number of men can easily any organized force pursuing, and if it comes to the worst can be taken up behind some of the cavalry, who had better be selected beforehand.

Nothing but an actual attack of columns of infantry need interfere with the movement of your main body soon after dark. An artillery fire can be replied to by the troops you keep behind, while the rest act up to the circular.

If the enemy know of the move they will not be apt to attack until the retrograde march is actually commenced.

I hope you may get the six wagons; there are none here, and they could not be brought from Williamsburg as the roads are in time for your object.

Any powder you don't shoot away had better be thrown away.

In considering what you are to do at 8 o'clock remember that the troops on your right will move at that hour unless a fight is going on then. A mere demonstration which would not detain Longstreet ought not therefore to hold you long. Our troops must move together.

Respectfully and truly, yours,


HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., May 3, 1862.

Brigadier General J. R. ANDERSON,

Commanding,&c., Guiney's Station:

GENERAL: Your letter of this date is received. It is out of my power to send you any further re-enforcement at this time, nor am I now able to see whence I can obtain more for you.

With reference to the request of Colonel Riddick, I have to say that it is impossible to arm entire regiments already provided with other arms with Enfield rifles. Those arms are given to the flank companies when they can be obtained. If Colonel Riddick will make a requisition for Enfield rifles for two flank companies it will be filled as far as practicable, and when the Ordnance Department is ready to furnish the rifles Colonel Riddick could receive them and turn in a corresponding number of the arms he now has.

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

R. E. LEE,


HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., May 3, 1862.


President Richmond and York River R. R. Co., West Point:

SIR: Your telegram is received*, but owing to the closing of the office at West Point I am compelled to reply by letter.


*Not found.