General Johnston is the only person who can give directions on the subjects about which you inquire. I cannot give any that might interfere with plans of his, of which I am ignorant. You will have to see him about removal of wires, rails, and the points to place obstructions. I am informed that the best point of obstructing the river below the railroad bridge is at Cooke's Island. Lieutenant Tapscott, engineer at New Market [Kent?] Court-House, has been making examinations of the river for the purpose of obstructing. You can consult with him on this point. General Johnston is at Williamsburg.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, May 3, 1862.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: It has been reported that some of the enemy's gunboats have reached West Point. The President is apprehensive that they may ascend the Pamunkey before the obstructions in that rive are completed, and thus get possession of the grain,&c., in that valley. He thinks if you could send a good light battery, supported by infantry, to a favorable point on the Pamunkey it would have the effect of delaying the advance of the enemy, if not preventing him. Not knowing you position or movements, I do not know whether this is practicable. He is also anxious to receive a reply to his dispatch to you of the 1st, and as it may not have reached you I inclose a copy.*
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, VA., May 5, 1862.
T. H. WYNNE, Esq.,
Chairman Committee on Defense, Richmond, Va.:
MY DEAR SIR: The President desires me to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters respectively of the 3rd and 4d instant,+ in reference to the progress of the obstructions in the river below this city;and to say to you that, upon the receipt of the letters, immediate steps were taken to remedy the evils mentioned, and it is believed with the desired effect; but if you can think of anything further that we can do to aid in the defenses in which we are all so much interested, we will be glad to hear from you on the subject.
Expressing the President's kind regards to yourself and associates, I am, very respectfully,
G. W. C. LEE,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
PETERSBURG, VA., May 5, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General:
We are entirely defenseless here. What shall I do with cotton and hogsheads of tobacco, and also with manufactured tobacco and flour?