War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0561 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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consequence of the extent of my line, it may be broken by a vigorous assault from the enemy.

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

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,

Major-General, Commanding.

P. S.-I do not anticipate this at present, but only wish the commanding general to have it in mind.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE APPOMATTOX,

Petersburg, Va., May 30, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

SIR: When I reported to you by telegraph that the obstructions in the Appomattox were worthless, I spoke in reference only to the point at which they were placed, being too high up to guard the most important point in this vicinity, viz, Port Walthall, which is but 3 miles from the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. Upon a personal examination of the work, which I made on yesterday, I am of the opinion that, so far as the ascent of the enemy's gunboats to Petersburg is concerned, the barrier erected by Captain Dimmock accomplishes that end. So far as I could judge, the work has been faithfully performed. In asking another engineer officer, I was under the impression that Captain Dimmock was acting independently of the department commander here, and I was so informed by Brigadier-General Armistead, whom I relieved. I merely desired an engineer who was subject to my control.

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

J. G. WALKER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

CAMP AT CHILDREY'S, ON VARINA ROAD,

May 30, 1862.

Major-General HILL,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Between 2 and 3 o'clock p.m. I visited Varina (Aiken's), on James River. At about that time firing was distinctly heard on our left, which we judged to be either at or near Ashland or Bottom's Bridge. This had not continued many minutes before two gunboats of the enemy were discovered coming slowly up the river with the tide, as if feeling their way in the channel and observing the shores. When first seen by me they had come nearly up to Deep Bottom, but the pickets had, from lower positions, seen them start from about Curl's Neck. With Colonel Duke and Major Gregory I paused to see whether they were towing any transports, and Captains Magruder and Clement hastened to watch any attempt at landing.

I immediately ordered the Forty-sixth, and Fourth Regiments Virginia Volunteers and Armistead's and French's batteries to unite at the point where the Kingsland intersects with the Varina road, and sent notice of the movement to Colonel Stuart, at Chaffin's Bluff. Before this was done the cavalry pickets reported that the gunboats had returned down the river.

36 R R-VOL XI, PT III