Composition of Hoke's Division.
17th North Carolina.
42nd North Carolina.
66th North Carolina.
8th North Carolina.
31st North Carolina.
51st North Carolina.
61st North Carolina.
7th South Carolina Battalion.
11th South Carolina.
21st South Carolina.
25th South Carolina.
27th South Carolina.
Read's Thirty-eighth Virginia Battalion Artillery.
JOHNSON'S HEADQUARTERS, May 21, 1864.
Dr. J. R. FRETWELL
(Care Colonel W. H. Stevens):
Can you raise some men, and bring down the eight torpedoes via Drewry's Bluff? I can detail a few men here. I want them assigned for floating down upon the monitors that are shelling us. McDaniel has disappointed me.
JNO. A. WILLIAMS,
Near Chester, Va., Hancock's House, May 21, 1864.
His Excellency President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Your letter* of the 20th instant has been delivered by Colonel Melton. I shall do all in my power with my limited means to hold in check the enemy in my front, who has nearly double my present force, and, if possible, I will compel him to evacuate his present strong position. I succeeded yesterday, after a severe struggle, in obtaining the shortest defensive line in front of his works, which extend from the James River to the Appomattox. This line is about 3 miles long, and when properly fortified will enable me with a small force-say about 10,000 men-to hold in check and neutralize the force of at least 25,000 men, which the enemy is now reported to have on the peninsula of Bermuda Hundred. To drive him from his present position the best plan would then be to send a force of about 4,000 or 5,000 men to storm Fort Powhatan, and establish there a battery of heavy guns, to command the navigation of the James River at that point. This could be accomplished in a very few days. Then by putting into the river torpedoes, and a rope obstruction, under the protection of the guns of the fort, no enemy's vessels could pass up or down the river, and he would be compelled to abandon his present position.
With regard to re-enforcing General Lee, I shall be most happy to do so whenever you shall judge proper to order it. The prisoners