War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0580 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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HEADQUARTERS, June 7, 1862.


Secretary of War:

I grieve at the death of General Ashby. I hope he will find a successor. I doubt whether Radford would be. Ransom cannot be spared from his brigade, nor would he, I presume, exchange his command for the cavalry of Jackson. We must endeavor to find some one. General Stuart mentions Colonel Fitz. Lee, of the First Virginia Cavalry. I do not know whether he could carry with him Ashby's men.

Send the George regiments you mention. They will be some help. We must aid a gallant man if we perish.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,


P. S.-How would Colonel Thomas T. Munford, of Second Virginia Cavalry, answer? He seems to be a good officer, judging at this distance, and was selected in place of Radford. General George [H.] Steuart, of the Maryland Brigade, is with Jackson. He is a cavalry officer.


June 7, 1862-11 a.m.

General JOHNSTON, C. S. A.:

GENERAL: Your kind favor and present are received; many thanks for both. I hope you won't think that I could visit the city without doing myself the pleasure to see you the first thing. I have desired to go in every day, and for no other purpose, but I have been afraid to leave my command for a single moment. It has so turned out that I might have done so, but I did not know it. Not knowing what moment I may be called upon, I am afraid to move. I shall not fail you the first moment that I consider safe.

The failure of complete success on Saturday [May 31] I attribute to the slow movements of General Huger's command. This threw perhaps the hardest part of the battle upon my own poor division. It is greatly cut up, but as true and ready as ever. Our ammunition was nearly exhausted when Whiting moved, and I could not therefore move on with the rush that we could had his movement been earlier. We did advance, however, through three encampments and only stopped at night-fall. The enemy ran in great confusion, but the troops were arranged en echelon, and we encountered fresh troops every few hundred yards. These readily fell back, however, as the fleeing ones came to them closely pursued.

I can't but help think that a display of his forces on the left flank of the enemy by General Huger would have completed the affair and given Whiting as easy and pretty a game as was ever had upon a battle-field. Slow men are a little out of place upon the field. Altogether it was very well, but I can't help but regret that it was not complete.

With kindest expressions for Mrs. Johnston and the members of your staff, I remain, truly and sincerely, yours,