not to keep in depot here more than ten days' supply for 100,000 men. That is about the quantity here at this time. depots have been formed at Danville, Charlotte, Atlanta,&c., on the Southern roads. Supplies are also placed at Gordonsville, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, &c. No great supply has been placed at Staunton, as it was through that place was in jeopardy from the movement of the enemy up the Shenandoah Valley. There is a large supply of bacon at Lynchburg, and the Commissary-General upon receiving about 10,000 head of cattle from the country now covered by Jackson and Ewell.
In reference to the provisions in this city, they can be removed out of the reach of the shots from the enemy's gunboats for the immediate use of your army, and the only question is as to the best points. I have proposed to the Commissary-General to send a portion to Ashland and the Louisa Junction, on the north side of James River, and to Burkeville, the intersection of the Danville and Southside Railroads, south of James River. Would Hanover Court-House or a nearer point on the Central Railroad be convenient to you and some point on the Richmond and York River Railroad this side of the Chickahominy?
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, VA., May 13, 1862-9 p. m.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:
DEAR GENERAL: I have been in conference several hours with the not succeeded in procuring much information, yet I conclude to send you a courier and give such information as they furnished.
There is ten day's rations now in Richmond for about 70,000 men. He proposes to send off at once to Burkeville Junction, Southside and Danville roads, and Ashland, on Fredericksburg road, a part of this supply. He has at Lynchburg, 5,000,000 of rations that can be placed at any point on either side of James River south and west of Richmond as fast as cars can take it. He expects to get 10,000 head of cattle from the valley division within our reach very soon. In fine, he says that there is no trouble about feeding your army for ninety days, if you will indicate where your line will be south and west of Richmond in case we should be forced to give up the city.
Colonel Northrop don't know anything about the supply about Staunton. Ewell and Jackson are supplied from the country about them. In addition to your army, he says 20,000 rations are issued here. The army south of James River does not draw from her, and will not at present, provided they saved the supply at Norfolk.
Colonel Northrop insists, if you can reoccupy Northern Virginia and the Potomac about Loudoun, that 100,000 men can be supplied from that country. This I doubt.
I am to talk with the flour and bacon merchants to-night, and will be able to give you better data to-morrow. I will follow the thing up, although I find Colonel Northrop very much disinclined to give information; he seems to consider it his patent article.
The gunboats (five) were at City Point at 11 a. m. to-day, making soundings and surveying.
In haste, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. COLE,
Major, C. S. P. A.
33 R R-VOL XI, PT III