HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING,
Thorne's House, Va., June 10, 1862.
Colonel A. P. MASON,
SIR: I regret to inform you that I cannot find the map of Hanover that you request. I think Major Bryan, who is now absent, has the map with him. As soon as I can procure it I will send it to you.
I addressed a note this morning to Colonel Chilton, requesting information concerning the extent of my command. I wish it to be distinctly understood that I was pressing no claim, but only wished to know what my responsibilities were in order to meet them. My only desire is to understand and ascertain the intentions of the general commanding, which I will cheerfully carry out. In any disposition that will be made I feel confident of my ability to co-operate with General Whiting, but the letter was written because the subject-matter of inquiry was too important not to be clearly understood, and difference of opinions necessarily arise, as they have already arisen, concerning what troops should make certain partial attacks on the enemy, which we both considered proper. These differences are not accompanied by anything unpleasant between General Whiting and myself, but are such as will necessarily arise between two independent minds when neither commands, and produce inconvenience in little matters too unimportant to be referred to the commanding general. For instance, if the fortification at Golding's is to be attacked, my troops should do it, and if the woods to the left of the Nine-mile road are to be kept clear of the enemy, General Whiting's troops should do it, as my troops hold positions too vital for them to leave for that purpose. If the commanding general should wish the woods to be kept clear I am willing to make the attack with two of my brigades and one of General Whiting's, provided that he send one to replace Cobb's brigade at Mrs. Christian's, as I would take his brigade, and the front he now guards would then be left uncovered. The rest of General Whiting's brigades could then remain in the main line of battle as a reserve to this forward movement should that be decided on at any time.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
Major-General, Commanding Right Wing.
OUTPOST, June 10, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, C. S. A:
The anniversary of Bethel has turned my thoughts to you with the hope that you may prove the delivered of the country. It is now plain to my mind that Richmond can only be saved by a wide sweep entirely to the rear of the enemy. Without Beauregard this cannot be done. Let us give up the South for the time to capture McClellan. A wide detour to the rear by 50,000 men would accomplish the object. The enemy has now ditched himself up to the very gates of Richmond. In a week or two weeks at furthest he will open his siege batteries and the capital must fall. Had our whole force been thrown on the Williamsburg road last Sunday all might have been well. But alas! it was not done. We had got in rear of the obstructions which foiled Smith and Whiting. Now the roads are connected by abatis and rifle pits. The enemy can only be turned by a wide circuit in rear of all the