War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0534 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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You will oblige me by giving to the officer who will deliver this to you a statement of your force in infantry, cavalry, and artillery-such as you can have made from the knowledge of your staff officers or your own, without reference elsewhere.

Any suggestions or information which you can give will oblige me greatly. The position you should occupy is matter of great interest. If the railroad can furnish you quick transportation, Petersburg may be that point; otherwise it will be necessary I think for you to place yourself near Drewry's Bluff, with a strong rear guard at Petersburg.

J. E. JOHNSTON,

General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Richmond, Va., May 22, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding Army of Northern Virginia, Hdqrs. near Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of this morning relative to the construction of the bridge near Drewry's Bluff has been received.* Upon inquiring of the acting chief engineer I find that everything necessary for the construction of a bridge has been furnished Captain Blackford and sent down to-day except labor. Fifty laborers have also been sent down, and others will be sent as soon as they can be procured. Owing to the difficulty of getting hands it will be necessary to draw any additional force that may be wanted from the troops stationed in contiguous positions to the work.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTER,

Richmond, Va., May 22, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Your letter of this morning* by Major Whiting has been received, and I can only assure you that there is no question as to the extent of your authority or command. The troops at and around Drewry's Bluff are commanded by General Mahone and are a part of General Huger's division whose operations you of course control

As regards the work at Drewry's Bluff, it was commenced under the general plan and superintendence of Captain Rives and subsequently has been placed in immediate charge of Navy. The system adopted is so far advanced as to render it hazardous to change it, and the only thing to be dome is to strengthen and complete it as fast as possible. Captain Clarke is considered the constructing engineer, and I see no objection to Major Stevens having the general control, if his other duties will permit, or at least to his giving to Captain Clarke and the naval officers in charge the benefit of his experience and knowledge. But the President is unwilling to disturb the arrangement with the Navy Department now existing further than is necessary to insure the gen-

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*Not found.

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