War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0544 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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Richmond, Va., May 25, 1862.


Secretary of War, C. S. A.:

You will excuse me, I trust, for again calling your attention to the necessity for an early concentration of our troops. the desire for this is universal with our officers. While I feel sure that the great mass of officers and men will do their duty fully, yet it cannot but have a dispiriting effect upon all to believe that they will have to fight the combined forces of McClellan, Banks, Burnside, and, maybe, Sherman. And the question often arises, Why run any risk in this contest for national existence when we could make a sure defense? Why permit ourselves to be beaten in detail when we might throw our heavy masses with resistless force upon the enemy? Burnside can slip away from North Carolina and Holmes be none the wiser; so Sherman can slip off boast. McDowell is doubtless with McClellan, and the better part of Banks' column, his Western troops, have formed a junction also. I do not think that I am an alarmist, and I trust in God that I may be able to discharge my duty faithfully, but the scattering of our forces makes me fear the worst. Being mixed up with our troops, I know more of their temper and disposition and tone of thought than those do whose position has placed them above such association. This fact must be my excuse for intruding the same opinions upon you so often. God knows my only thoughts are for the good of the South, in whose defense I will most likely shed my heart's blood.

With great respect,




Junction, May 25, 1862.

Major-General BRANCH:

GENERAL: I arrived here at 7 o'clock. Head of my column is encamped within 2 1/2 miles, and the extreme rear back I suppose, 4 1/2 miles farther. Expect to send them down to-morrow, and will try and come to the Court-House with the first of them and have your advice.

Yours, truly,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

I marched all night and day, and am pretty tired, and of course my men are more so, and for that reason I want to move them by rail.

If you move your camp from the Court-House please inform me before I start my troops.


Drewry's Bluff, Va., May 25, 1862.


Secretary of War, C. S. A.:

SIR: In your communication to Major-General Huger under date of 14th of May, ordering that General Mahone's brigade shall be sent forward to the support of Drewry's Bluff, you direct that I shall as