BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, CHAFFIN'S FARM,
August 5, 1863.
Major T. O. CHESTNEY,
MAJOR: I beg respectfully to report that, having been informed through the signal corps that one iron-clad and three gunboats have passed Varina, I have sent a company to Cox's landing to protect Captain Davidson's submarine batteries from interference by landing. I have ordered Major Stark, with four pieces of artillery, to Deep Bottom, to fire on them returing. I have also sent eight companies of the Twenty-sixth [Virginia] Regiment to support the artillery and to act as aharpshooters. I hope this disposition will meet your approval.
Please let me know if you expext to see me at 10 in the morning, under the existing state of affairs.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. R. PAGE,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
August 5, 1863.
Colonel W. H. STEVENS,
C. S. Army:
COLONEL: The honorable Secretary of War directs that a compenent engineer officer be sent to examine the works for defense of the bridges over the South Anna and North Anna Rivers. If they are not in good condition, or require modification to make them susceptible of defense by a few companies, you will have the necessary work done, calling on the troops guarding the bridges for the necessary labor. For the defense of each bridge there should be a closed work of sufficient strenght of profile to resist cavalry and light artillery.
You obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Colonel of Engineers, and Chief of Bureau.
August 6, 1863.
General SAMUEL JONES,
GENERAL: I am diracted by the Adjutant and Inspector General to inform you that reports of stragglers in Southwestern Virginia, from the Army of Northern Virginia, have been received at this office.
It is believed if a few companies of reliable men, under the command of a vigilant, active, and energetic officer, were sent to Goshen, and the adjutant counties, with orders to arrest such absentees and sent them under guard to their commands, much good would be effected. It would not only increase the strength of the army, but deter others, who have the disposition, from leaving the ranks. The offense has become so frequent that the utmost effort should be