HEADQUARTERS, June 16, 1862.
General D. H. HILL,
GENERAL: I have just ordered a North Carolina regiment to your division. This will enable you to form a North Carolina brigade of four regiments. Please make that arrangement of the State brigade at once.
I would suggest that in making your trenches you have them run with regard to protecting the men from the fire of the enemy's page628longrange guns. I don't think we have as much to apprehend in the way of an attack as the long guns.
HEADQUARTERS WISE'S BRIGADE, Camp on Varina Road, June 16, 1862.
Major General D. H. HILL,
GENERAL: Your courier delivered yours of to-day at 6.30 p. m.
I will send your orders to the Fifty-sixth Regiment Virginia Volunteers immediately. I shall start early in the morning, and it would have reported to your camp before now had I been ordered to forward it, but I was expressly informed by General Lee that it was not under my command.
I deeply regret the severe loss of your gallant division.
You express the hope that I have rifle pits and abatis, &c. As yet it has been impossible to obey General Johnston's orders to picket the Varina and New Market roads and to construct any works at the obstructions or batteries or bridge across James River with the force under me. Our force is barely sufficient to picket so many roads and points as those we are stationed to guard. I looked to the regiments, the Fifty-sixth and Sixth, stationed at Chaffin's Bluff, to throw up works where they are required on the river, and wrote to General Lee, through you, inquiring whether the forces at the Bluff were under my command. He replied the batteries would be placed under orders of the Navy Department; the Fifty-sixth would be ordered to report to you, and the Sixth belonged to General Mahone's brigade. Colonel Stuart, commanding at the bluff, has been relieved, and Colonel Rogers, of the Sixth, is in command now. To him I will forward your present order. I can't but think that General Lee must have mistaken me. He thought, perhaps, I was asking to have these regiments joined to my brigade. Not so; I merely meant to ask whether I was in command of the defenses and forces on the right of the army and on the James River's left bank, and received the above reply, leaving me still to picket the Varina and New Market roads and the river landings.
Now, sir, I beg of you to have my command here defined; if it is expected of me to command the forces and defenses at Chaffin's Bluff, I can set the forces there to constructing rifle pits around and about the batteries and the obstructions, and the only bridge of retreat, if we are compelled to cross the river, and keep my brigade upon the roads, but I have not force enough to do both. I will anxiously await your instructions.
Remember that the Bluff is near 2 miles from my headquarters; the obstructions about 3, and the bridge about 4 miles, and my infantry