and you underscore "me, " leaving it to be inferred that they would not vindicate me. It would at present be a violation of confidence and military propriety on your part to use these letters, and, of course, you will not do it. When the proper time arrives, you are at liberty to use them as you think proper.
I am well aware that I am spoken against in this department. No one, not even General Lee, has given satisfaction in Western Virginia. How should I expect to do so? But I have neither the time nor inclination to vindicate myself, and shall continue to act as I think proper, subject only to those whom the law has placed over me.
Very respectfully and truly, yours, &c.,
RICHMOND, VA., June 19, 186
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: General Elzey has, I suppose, communicated to you the information received by him in relation to affairs on the Peninsula, and General Cooper has, I suppose, advised you of the reports from General D. H. Hill. They have seemed to keep up anxiety for the railroads both north and south of Richmond; but I am not sure that they have justified anything more. I read to General Elzey the sentence of your letter in relation to the brigade of Pickett`s division which had been detached to protect the bridges near Hanover Junction, and asked him whether he could not, with the aid of intrenchments, protect those bridges by sending up a strong regiment from Cooke`s brigade, and thus allow Corse`s brigade to join its division. I hope he has done so, though I have not seen him for the last two days. Being informed that Corse`s brigade was greatly reduced in numbers, I asked the Secretary of War to endeavor to recruit it, and was glad to learn that he had already directed his efforts to that end. Jenkins` brigade is relied upon by General Hill, not only to protect Petersburg, but to support the positions occupied by him farther south, and he insists that without it his line cannot be defended. Ransom`s brigade was moved near to Drewry`s Bluff, but has again, I am informed, been called back toward the Blackwater.
We have been endeavoring here to organize a force for local defense; but the delays have been vexatious, and, I think, in no small degree the result of misunderstandings, which better management might have prevented. I hope we shall have better progress hereafter, and think, with good outguards-infantry and cavalry to protect the railroads and give timely notice of an advance of the enemy-it will be possible to defend the city without drawing from the forces in the field more heavily than may be necessary for the duty of outposts and reconnaissance. You will know better than we can here whether any attempt is made to pass to your rear and strike at your line of communication, and I regret that we have not here a mounted force which might relieve you from the necessity of giving your attention to that matter. I rejoice in the success which has attended your advance into the Valley of Virginia, and that Ewell has had so good an introduction to the corps of the gallant Jackson, as the successor of that lamented chief.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,