War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0539 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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and near that place, and ordered the two cavalry regiments of Robertson and Lee to occupy the place also, as I supposed was the intention of General Stuart.

These disposition were made when I received another order from General Smith directing that the two regiments to hold Mechanicsville and to support the cavalry should be detailed from General McLaws' command.

I thought it more in accordance with his views to detail one regiment from General McLaws command, as he appeared to desire that some troops should come from him, and as he further stated that the object was to support the cavalry, hold the enemy in check, and not to give up the ground except in case of a real attack in force. I could not see how these were to be accomplished unless the force there fought when he appeared. I therefore ordered Colonel robertson, who was the ranking officer of those then sent over, to fight him should he advance on Mechanicsville, and if forced to retreat that the whole should do so by the Meadow Bridge, and if that were impracticable, by the Brooke Turnpike Bridge.

I still thought and think now that the enemy will advance to-morrow with probably 10.000 men, and that he can be driven back by us if we crossed over that number to-night. I therefore made the proposition to you, as I would be responsible for the movement if it were permitted.

I stated that if I could get an answer in half an hour it could be done, having calculated the time it would take to cross.

Brigadier-General McLaws, to whom you allude, was, as well as myself, in favor of concentrating my command so as to afford a stronger resistance to the enemy; at least so I understood a letter from him to me received the night before last, but which was returned to him. I shall send your letter of instructions to Colonel Robertson or the officer in command at Mechanicsville, and direct him to be guided by it in lieu of any instructions in relation to the same subject of mine.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Right Wing.


Richmond, Va., May 23, 1862.

Brigadier General J. H. WINDER,

Commanding, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I am directed by General Lee to say that you will order the following light batteries, viz, Captains Rhett's, Stamps', Peyton's, Clark's, Moseley's, Forrest's, and Lloyd's to report without delay to General J. E. Johnston for service in the field. The general also directs that you will cause to be immediately armed and equipped as infantry Colonel Harris' battalion of heavy artillery, now at Camp Lee. This battalion is composed of the following companies: Bowyer's, Price's, Patterson's, and Jones'; also to have the arms of Captains Bossieux' and Carrington's heavy artillery companies inspected, and the worthless arms turned in and replaced by serviceable ones.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel and Military Secretary.