War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0548 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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partment to General Mahone; also copies sent by the Secretary of the Navy to Captain S. S. Lee.

I consider these letters are conflicting. I ask that these conflicting instructions be reconciled or be withdrawn altogether.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, May 14, 1862.

Major-General HUGER, Petersburg:

GENERAL: Presuming from your telegraph to Captain rives this evening that you have not received general Lee's telegram ordering you to send General Mahone's brigade to Drewry's Bluff, I send Captain Blackford, of the engineer Corps, to conduct the brigade to its destination.

You will send it as soon as practicable, and direct General Mahone to assume command of the post. he will find Captain Farrand, of the Navy, in charge of the battery and the obstructions.

The President wishes General Mahone to superintend the engineering operations and to cover the battery with his brigade. He will have an engineer officer assigned to his command, and will cause the obstructions to be completed as rapidly as possible by the deposit of loose stone; he will have the guns mounted and the batteries case-mated.

You will send on in advance of the brigade four companies of light troops, who will report to the senior army officer present, and be employed in covering the battery and as sharpshooters on the bluff.

These are the troops of which General Lee spoke to you, and which we hoped would be in position last night.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS,

Richmond, May 15, 1862.

General MAHONE:

GENERAL: Orders were issued on yesterday for your command to move to the south side of James River, in the vicinity of Drewry's Bluff.

It is desired that you at once take charge of the river defenses at that point, and make such use of your troops and resources as may be best calculated to prevent the ascent of the river by the gunboats of the enemy.

The work of obstructing the river should be prosecuted with ceaseless vigor, and the batteries pushed forward to completion with all possible dispatch.

Commander Farrand, of the Navy, has the river obstructions under his immediate command, and will man and fight certain guns, as far as the naval force will permit.

Captain T. H. Page, of the Navy, is engaged upon the obstructions, &c., at Warwick Bar.

It will be necessary to harmonize these several operations, and to give vigor and energy to the whole.