War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 1045 Chapter XXXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.

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ENGINEER BUREAU,

July 27, 1863.

Major C. R. COLLINS,

Fredericksburg:

MAJOR: The Honorable Secretary of War is exceedingly anxious to remove all the iron we can from the railroad north of Fredericksburg, and authorizes me to appeal to you for every support and assistance in your power. Lieutenant Stuart with his working force may need protection, for which he must rely on you, and if you can give him labor by detail, s in impressing all within reach, white as well as black, you will much oblige men. Railroad iron is a great want in the Confederacy, as you well know. Every bar that can be saved is important.

Prepare for destroying bridges, but do not do so until the last extremity.

Your obedient servant,

J. F. GILMER,

Colonel of Engineers, and Chief of Bureau.

P. S. - Can any of the sand bags in the Federal Batteries at Falmouth, or other points near, be saved by your men? If not, they should be destroyed.

ENGINEER BUREAU,

July 27, 1863.

Lieutenant W. D. STUART,

Engineer, Fredericksburg:

SRI; I have received your letters of the 25th and 26th instant, under Major Collins` orders from General Lee, dated the 28th of June, 1863, to remove as soon as possible the material from the railroad. I trust he will give you every protection and assistance in his power, and not destroy bridges or anything else until it becomes an absolute necessity to keep them from the enemy. Impress all labor within your reach, under the support of Major Collins, a nd put it to work removing the iron. Can any sand bats be saved from the Federal Batteries at Falmouth or other points in Stafford County? Could not a part of Major Collins` command, remaining at or near Fredericksburg, be induced to save some of these bats, if they are worth saving? I have just seen the Secretary of War, who wishes me to say he relies much on the energy of the engineers. He also authorizes me to ask of Major Collins every support and assistance that he can possibly give in saving the iron.

Your obedient servant,

J. F. GILMER,

Colonel of Engineers, and Chief of Bureau.

RICHMOND, VA.,

July 27, 1863.

Major General ARNOLD ELZEY,

Commanding at Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I am just informed by Lieutenant Stuart, from Fredericksburg, that he has 50 men at work in removing the iron from