I found your former brigade under the command of General Garland. In carrying cut the policy of the Government of brigading the regiments by States, the two Virginia regiments were transferred, the one to Kemper, the other to Armistead, with a view of forming Virginia brigades, and North Carolina regiments were added to the Sixth and Twenty-third North Carolina Regiments to form a North Carolina brigade. I am ignorant of the abundant opportunities to which you refer for providing yo with a command that have been neglected, unless you allude to the appointment by the President of commanders to certain vacant brigades and of vacancies still existing in others. I wished to assign you to the command of a Virginia brigade, nor did I consider the command of either of those that have been filled would be as agreeable to you as your present command. The numerous vacancies that have occurred have taken much time for the selection of officers to fill them, nor is it yet done. I can only assure you that confidence in your zeal and ability has been increased instead of diminished by your service, and that the honorable wound your received at Williamsburg in the defense of your country is viewed as a badge of distinction and claim for high consideration instead of crime, as you suppose.
I am, with high esteem, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE.
HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY CORPS.
August 5, 1862
General D. H. HILL, Commanding:
GENERAL: The dispatch from City Point which your requested General French to hand me I have considered with care, and have sought all the information within my reach.
Colonel Brown and General Ransom, both of whom know the ground well, thoroughly concur in the views expressed by Colonel Cutts and Major Lewis, that in the actual contour of the ground and position of the gunboats there is not the remotest rational prospect of damaging the grounded gunboat without the probable destruction of every gun, with me and horses, that we get into position for the purpose.
The whole space where our guns must stand is exposed to a triple fire, direct and cross, from a number of gunboats that can take any position they please, and within 600 or 800 yards, while for 2 or 3 miles entering or getting out or guns must bear the raking fire of all these boats.
With this universal testimony I have not doubted an instant that, seeing the gunboat is comparatively worthless, and our guns, horses, and men are so valuable to run so great a risk of losing these is not warranted by the remote possibility of destroying that. In this judgment you will, I hope, concur.
W. N. PENDLETON.
August 6, 1862
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
Hood's division on Mechanicsville road and R. H. Anderson's at