on the north side, and Falling Creek, on the south side, of James River. The bridge will furnish easy communication between the two. Of all this you are better able to judge than myself, and I would not be regarded as interfering with the free exercise of your discretion.
There is reason to believe that the enemy has withdrawn from the coast of South Carolina. In that event General Pemberton has been directed to leave garrisons of artillery in the forts which it is necessary to hold, and to bring the balance of his force to this quarter for operations in the field. In that case you will receive valuable re-enforcements from a source not anticipated.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
RICHMOND, VA., July 5, 1862.
J. R. EDMUNDSON, Esq.,
News Ferry, Va.:
Present events have rendered the call more necessary by changing the point threatened and by rendering it possible, if the city is well fortified, to use the bulk of our army elsewhere. Without strong works here we shall be compelled to remain on the defensive.
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
CAMP NEAR MALVERN HILL BATTLE-FIELD, July 5, 1862.
SIR: I have heard from various sources that you have sent various communications to me. Not one has reached its destination. I have only seen orders for medical officers to report for duty in the field. I was delayed here in consequence of the great difficulty in removing our wounded to Richmond. When their removal was nearly accomplished General Lee ordered that I should give assistance to the Federal medical officers in concentrating their sick and wounded at some central point, where surgical aid could be more efficiently rendered and where provisions and other necessaries could be issued. I selected Savage Station, on the York Railroad, as the point for concentration. Of course there are many Federal wounded that cannot be moved yet, and as you are aware our transportation is very deficient. In all there must be nearly 30 Federal medical officers within our lines, and of course have required little or no surgical aid from us. They have, however, asked for food, and having been accustomed to such luxuries as coffee, tea, arrowroot, sago, jellies, &c., were disappointed in getting nothing but flour or hard bread and bacon.
The commissary has sent subsistence to different points designated for the purpose of distribution. Every variety of medical and hospital supplies, in very limited quantities, and a few imperfect sets of amputating instruments are in the possession of Surgeon Johnson, medical purveyor, which he retains for the use of the field infirmaries, and have been of immense value to us.
Having been assigned suddenly and unexpectedly to the onerous and responsible duties of medical director of this large army, without instructions of any kind and without knowledge of the previous orders