War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0545 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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sume the command of the post, and that I shall superintend the engineering operations upon the obstruction of guns, and the casemating of batteries, &c.

In the mean while Captain Lee, of the Navy, has been sent down to relieve Captain Farrand, with certain instructions from the Secretary of the Navy.

It is important to harmonize the operations of the Navy and Army I well understand, and so far as in my power this shall be done where no sacrifice to the service is to be the cost, but I cannot be responsible in any copartnership authority.

There has been no difficulty between the two arms of the service, but interferences have occurred in the prosecution of the work to the prejudice of the common object.

I have therefore to inquire to what extent it is intended that I shall be relieved of the command and responsibility, as prescribed in your letter to General Huger, by the chief naval officer at the post.

If I am to be responsible for the manner and energy of the works at this post I would thank you to make this understood with the Navy Department, as also the official relation of the Navy with my command, and that the engineers be directed to report to me and made subject to my directions.

In your letter you state that an engineer officer will be assigned to my command, but none has been so assigned.

I am sure you will appreciate and understand the motive which prompts me to address you this paper. I desire simply to exercise authority where I am held to account.

I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,

WILLIAM MAHONE,

Brigadier-General.

[Indorsement.]

Referred to General Lee. Since this letter was written General Mahone has telegraphed to me General Huger's arrival had relieved him from all further responsibility, but the difficulties will still exist.

The letter which he speaks of as written by me to General Huger was a telegraph, prepared with the sanction of the President, ordering General Mahone to Drewry's Bluff, putting him in command of the post and in charge of all the engineering work.

Things seem to have gone back to their former conditions, and it is impossible to pin the responsibility upon any one.

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING,

May 25, 1862-9 p. m.

Major MELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to report that from Mechanicsville, from whence I last wrote to-day, I proceeded to Meadow bridges and made an examination of the hill across Brooke Run, proceeding to it by the Brooke turnpike and returning by the Meadow Bridges.

35 R R - VOL XI, PT III