War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0598 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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PETERSBURG, VA., June 13, 1862.

GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

I took all the Norfolk cars I could get; most of my cars were up the road loaded when all the rest were sent for the prisoners. When I ordered them back they were delayed some time by the quartermaster on Lynchburg telling our agent they should not go. The superintendent of the telegraph line said there was not time to fix instruments, or outside operators should not tamper with their wires. The trains of empty cars had to be brought back to carry troops from here and also for Mr. Talcott; as I had a good many of his cars I presume [he] wanted them. I was unwell at the time the movement commenced, and my anxiety that it should go on right put me to bed, where I am still very sick, but I believe the troops have gone as fast and safely as they could go at so short a notice. I did not suppose you were ignorant of the number of troops, but I was ignorant until near the time of the troops starting from Richmond that they were all to go the same day. Mr. Talcott telegraphed me they would start next day. He sent the sick to the Junction. I feel much concerned that you complain of my communicating your movement in the way I have done. I have made no communication except through the telegraph; but perhaps there may be a mistake in that part of the wording of your telegraph. If I erred, it was from my desire to carry the troops as fast and safely as they could go.

H. D. BIRD.

PETERSBURG, VA., June 13, 1862.

GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

I am laid up sick, but our agents are getting the troops through as fast as they can. If you issue orders to them it will confuse them, delay the troops, cause collisions, &c. Do send your orders to me. You are not aware that while you were sending 6,000 men from Richmond General Ransom was sending 4,000 from Petersburg; the Surgeon-General sending up sick trains; our cars ordered to Lynchburg for Yankee prisoner-all with scarcely any notice. Our agents and men are doing all that can be done to expedite the troops. I can't work my road like some others; have only two telegraph stations between Junction and Lynchburg, and they not under our control.

H. D. BIRD.

DREWRY'S BLUFF, VA.,

June 14, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

My pickets and the lieutenant of the signal corps at the mouth of the Appomattox report that a gunboat, towing a lighter, on which were six pieces of field artillery, came down to City Point late in the day yesterday, remained there during the night, and proceeded farther down the river [in the morning]. Also that the Monitor, accompanies by two wooded gunboats, on one of which was a company of sharp-