I have been to find any one who can tell me what has been done or by whom or at what point, though it is through in the neighborhood that such work was in progress, but interrupted by the Federal war vessels.
A copy of a telegram from the President to me, dated 1st instant, was also received.
The two officers named are necessary to the preservation of anything like organization in this army. The troops, in addition to the lax discipline of volunteers, are partially discontented at the conscription act and demoralized by their recent elections. Stragglers cover the country, and Richmond is no doubt filled with the absent leave. It has been necessary to divide the army into two parts; one under General Smith, on this road; the other under General Longstreet, on that by the Chickahominy. Each of these divisions is probably much larger than the "Army of the North". This army cannot be commanded without these two officers; indeed, several more major-generals like them are required to make this an army. The men are full of spirit when near the enemy, but at other times to avoid restraint leave regiments in crowds. To enable us to gather the whole army for battle would require a notice of several days.
The best mode of arranging this matter will be to unite the two armies, which, if I am in actual command, will be done. It is necessary to unite all our forces now. All that I can control shall be concentrated.
If this command (mine) includes the Department of Northern Virginia still this Army of the North is a part of it, if not, my position should be defined anew. Nothing is more necessary to us than a distinct understanding of every officer's authority.
Longstreet is ordered to place himself to-day near the Long Bridge, on this [side] of the river, and General Smith to move to the Baltimore Cross-Roads, 8 miles from this place.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
Near Baltimore Store, May 9, 1862-10 p. m.
General R. E. LEE:
GENERAL: Major-General Smith's troops are on this road; his own division around this point; that of Magruder, now under Brigadier General D. R. Jones, nearer. He has gone too near the Chickahominy Bridge. I proposed to remain in this vicinity until further information reaches me.
Major Stevens, just from Richmond, tells me that there are but three guns in battery at Drewry's Bluff. I directed Captain Tucker, commanding the little squadron there near the place, to send the guns and carriages from Mulberry Point to Richmond. I was told that the guns are good, as well as the carriages. He was also desired to remove those at Jamestown. There is, however, reason to think that this service was not performed.
Permit me to suggest the importance of arming the battery for the defense of the obstructing works as heavily as possible.
It is reported that several thousand stragglers from this army are in Richmond, or near it, on the way. I request that the commanding with. Many who were sent to the city slightly sick should now rejoin. A large number of muskets taken to Richmond by these sick.