HEADQUARTERS, July 25, 1862
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
SIR: In reply to the letter of Colonel P. F. Liddell, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, applying for a transfer of his regiment and the Second Mississippi, Colonel Stone, to one of the Mississippi brigades in Virginia, which you have referred to me for my remarks, I have the honor to state that I consider the brigade to which they are now attached a Mississippi brigade. Two of the four regiments which compose it are from Mississippi, and it is command by a Mississippian. It is my intention, as soon as the Forty-second Mississippi Regiment, lately arrived in Richmond, Colonel Miller, can be withdrawn from the city, to assign it to that brigade, and to attach the Sixth North Carolina, now with it, to Colonel Walker's brigade. I should like to obtain a fourth Mississippi regiment to replace the Fourth Alabama; it would then be entirely composed of Mississippi regiments. If the Eleventh and Second are now withdrawn from it it will break up a veteran brigade, distinguished for good service from the beginning of the war in Virginia, and will leave General Whiting, an officer from Mississippi, without a brigade.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, VA., July 26, 1862
MY DEAR SIR: I have received and attentively considered your letter of the 18th instant, with its inclosed memoir, and propose to confer with General Lee in regard to its contents before referring the matter to the Engineer Bureau.
With respect to the defenses upon James River, the topography and the positions of the opposing forces do not favor the application of your suggested plan. Most of the enemy's force is encamped upon low ground, and the points upon the river bank where our batteries are stationed are high bluffs, that command the channel to such an extent as to render artificial elevation unnecessary. The defensive points upon the Potomac, Mississippi, and Alabama Rivers are of a similar character.
For sea-coast batteries upon a low beach and other positions where there is little natural command works of the character you propose might subserve an excellent purpose. Where this is found to be the case the Government will gladly avail itself of the results of your experience and reflection.
Thanking you for the suggestions and the trouble you have taken in forwarding them to me, I remain, very respectfully, yours,
HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
July 26, 1862.
Brigadier General J. J. ARCHER,
GENERAL: The condition of the Tennessee brigade has been submitted to the President. It has been determined to fill up the ranks