confidence in his invention, and is desirous that they should be employed both on land and river, if opportunity offers, at Vicksburg and its vicinity. Should communication allow, you are desired to send him there; but if otherwise, to employ him in his devices against the enemy where most assailable in that way elsewhere. All possible facilities and aid in the supply of men and material for the fair trial of his torpedoes and shells are requested on your part. Such means of offense against the enemy are approved and recognized by the Department as legitimate weapons of warfare.
With high esteem, very truly, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
Adieu, my dear general.
P. S.-A requisition upon Lieutenant Colonel George W. Rains, at Augusta, Ga., will get whatever sensitive priming-tubes you want. I went there and instructed in their make, and they have been furnished Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, &c., by the thousand.
RICHMOND, May 31, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding, &c., near Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Yours of the 30th was delivered to me last night. Before it was received General Cooper had sent a dispatch to General D. H. Hill, which opened the correspondence of which you will find copies* inclosed.
I had never fairly comprehended your views and purposes until the receipt of your letter of yesterday, and now have to regret that I did not earlier know all that you had communicated to others. I could hardly have misunderstood you, and need not say would have been glad to second your wishes, confiding, as I always do, as well in your judgment as in your information.
The reports in relation to the enemy at West Point are not, I fear, quite reliable; but in the uncertainty of the cease it has appeared to me that it might be well to bring up a brigade of General Hill's force and place it on the south side of James River sufficiently near to the pontoon bridge to be used in any operations which a movement of the enemy on the north side might require. The recommendation of General Hill in relation to Ransom's brigade, though not quite the same, may answer the purpose, and I have confidence in the cordiality and alacrity with which Ransom would meet such requirement. General Hill having mentioned Cooke's brigade as one which he is disposed to exchange, it least partially, by the organization of the various guards and the battalion at Salisbury, which he had asked for authority to embody in his army. To complete Heth's division without creating complaint o n the part of North Carolina brigade in it. To observe that condition we had to choose between Jenkins' South Carolina brigade and Davis', of Mississippi; as Jenkins had been commanding on the Blackwater and was supposed to be acquainted with the country, and Davis was temporarily absent, it was thought for that and minor reasons better to detach Davis' brigade. If General Hill's force should prove inadequate as the season advances we should prove inadequate as the season advances we should be able to draw further from the troops in South Carolina and Georgia. Mr. Seddon, however, thinks nothing more is to be obtained there. You will perceive that no destination is given by the Adjutant-General to the brigades drawn