War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0536 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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at Mechanicsville and Meadow Bridge, as the enemy are represented to be 20,000 strong near these places. The prisoners that I examined place the number at a higher figure.

I will be at Brigadier-General McLaws', so that you will please dispatch the courier with an answer to his headquarters with as little delay as possible.

I have the honor to be, &c., your obedient servant,


CHARLESTON, May 22, 1862.

General R. E. LEE, Richmond:

I cannot spare any troops unless positively ordered.


Major-General, Commanding.

MAY 23, 1862.


Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I went yesterday afternoon to Mechanicsville, and was there during the artillery firing, which you no doubt heard. General Lee was with me, and at my request will see you. Colonel Johnston, aide-de-camp, accompanied me, and will deliver this note to you. To him I refer you for any facts you may desire to learn.

I saw General Stuart and General Cobb, but as neither of them communicated to me any plan of operations, or appeared to know what troops were in front as we approached, I suppose neither of them could have been commanding in chief at that locality. My conclusion was, that, if as reported to be probable, General Franklin, with a division, was in that vicinity he might easily have advanced over the turnpike toward if not to Richmond.

Very respectfully, yours,



Richmond, Va., May 23, 1862.


Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of this morning* inclosing one from General Huger relative to certain arrangements to be made to enable him to transport his troops rapidly by railroad. I have referred the matter to the Quartermaster-General, and requested him to effect the arrangements, if practicable.

Governor Clark, of North Carolina, has been requested by telegraph to-day to send a brigade of four regiments, under General Martin, to Petersburg, for the purpose of defending the road leading to Weldon. He was told that the four regiment could be armed from here, and two batteries of light artillery also sent to form a part of the brigade. After the arrival of these troops the whole line of railroad from Petersburg.


*Not found.