War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0576 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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of projectiles, will be of immense importance to us. Can we not have it in the morning? The smaller guns (Parrott) I think we have enough of at present. I am very anxious to have a railroad battery. I wrote to Colonel Gorgas on the subject this morning and asked him to get you and Brooke to aid me. Till something better could be accomplished I proposed a Dahlgren or columbiad, on a ship's carriage, on a railroad flat, with one of your navy iron aprons adjusted to it to protect gun and men. If I could get it in position by daylight to-morrow I could astonish our neighbors. The enemy cannot get up his heavy guns except by railroad. We must block his progress.

Very respectfully and truly,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Dabb's House, June 5, 1862.

Major-General MAGRUDER:

GENERAL: General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this evening,* and to express his gratification at the handsome conduct of our troops during the day. He only regrets that the working parties of the enemy were not driven off this morning, as this would have rendered our advantages greater. His object in directing the withdrawal of the troops and the establishment of a picket only at Mr. James Garnett's was to save the men the unnecessary exposure and fatigue which they would incur if kept constantly drawn up in line of battle. He thought the picket would give you such timely notice of the movements of the enemy as to enable you to make the necessary disposition to resist and repulse him should he attempt to occupy the position. At this distance he cannot judge of the effect of the several combinations of the enemy upon the positions we now hold to which you allude, nor does he intend to give definite instructions in the case. He is unwilling, however, to recede from a position when only threatened, and thinks our artillery could as effectually damage the enemy as his would injure us. Mr. James Garnett's place would be so important to him that it is highly desirable to prevent his possession of it, if we can do so without unnecessary or unwarrantable sacrifice, and he wishes you under these circumstances to resist him should he attempt to gain the position. As you are on the ground he leaves the matter to your judgement and discretion, but suggests that the men be allowed to rest to-night if possible, and that the necessary dispositions be made early in the morning, should you determine to contest the occupancy of the place.

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

W. H. TAYLOR,

Major and Aide-de-Camp.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

Numbers 63.

June 5, 1862.

I. To prevent straggling a provost guard will be established within each division, to consist of 1 lieutenant, 1 non-commissioned officer, and

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*Not found.

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