War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0668 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

prepared to take advantage of any opportunity the enemy may afford you to strike him successfully.

In regard to the bridges across the Appomattox River, the general suggests that the different railroad bridges be planked over, so that they may serve at least for infantry. There is a second-hand bridge at the mills, which in case of need might be used for crossing troops, &c. If these bridges are not deemed sufficient it would be well to make arrangements for pontoon bridges, which can be easily constructed across so narrow a river.

The general wishes to know what brigades are without brigadiers, and whom you would propose to have appointed to them.

Colonel Gilmer, Chief of the Engineer Corps, has been ordered to visit Petersburg, for the purpose of examining the defenses, &c. He will doubtless give you great assistance. All of the negro laborers that have been collected about here are now engaged on the works on this side of the river and cannot be spared for any other purpose. It is hoped that you can get enough negroes from Southern Virginia and North Carolina for your purposes about Petersburg. Two rifled 32-pounder guns on field carriages have been ordered to you; also 800 spades and 100 axes have been sent to you, subject to the orders of Major Stevens, or the chief engineer engaged on the defenses of Petersburg.

I am, very respectfully,your obedient servant,

A. L. LONG,

Colonel and Military Secretary.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

August 8, 1862

Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY.

Commanding Division:

GENERAL: Your communication* of this date has been received. As the position at the crossing of the White Oak Swamp on the Charles City road seems to be a good one, you can for the present keep the two regiments and a battery there. You must, at the same time,picket strongly at the shops, as you propose to do. This will give you time to see if any change for the better can be made, or if a strong position farther down cannot be found.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE.

General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

August 8, 1862

Brigadier General R. S. RIPLEY,

Commanding Division:

GENERAL: Our experience of the past few days teaches the importance of having the Charles City road better cared for. I wish you would station a regiment on it. It will serve to support the cavalry and give it more stability. A section of artillery, if you think fit, had better form part of the force. The best position, perhaps, would be at

---------------

*Not found.

---------------