War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0932 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD.

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PETERSBURG, VA., August 16, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Richmond, Va.:

A lieutenant sent down to count the enemy's vessels reports that from 1 p. m. yesterday up to this morning 108 vessels passed down the river and 8 up; only 5 are reported with troops. The Monitor, 5 gunboats, and 4 schooners are visible at Berkeley. This has been telegraphed to General Lee.

S. G. FRRENCH,

Brigadier-General.

PETERSBURG, VA., August 16, 1862.

It is reported by my courier that the enemy have a pontoon bridge across the Chickahominy and are there in force. From three sources we have the departure of the fleet.

S. G. FRENCH,

Brigadier-General.

AUGUST 17, 1862.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

DEAR SIR: I found on getting tot he telegraph office a dispatch from General Hill, announcing that the enemy had gone from the south side of the river and could not be seen on the north side. I repeated the telegram to General Lee and asked if McLaw's division should not be brought to the railroad. He has not answered, and in the mean time General Smith has announced that he has ordered General McLaws to make a reconnaissance and will report the result. Armistead's brigade went up yesterday and the rest of Anderson's division will go up to-day and to-morrow. We shall probably receive reports before the road is clear.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., August 17, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH, Commanding, &c.:

Move forward your division with the least delay practicable to re-enforce General Lee at Gordonsville. Trains will be in readiness in this city to take the troops as they arrive. I inclose a dispatch just received from General Lee, by which you will be governed in sending forward the other divisions of your command.

Very truly,

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

RICHMOND, VA., August 17, 1862.

General R. E. LEE, Gordonsville, Va.:

General D. H. Hill telegraphed at 10.30 o'clock last night that "there is no enemy now on this side of the James River and no indications of