a heavy battery on the river in that vicinity as soon as possible. Perhaps it is thought the James River can be so reduced as to prevent the navigation of our naval boats.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
P. S.-General Grant is reported to have returned from Harper's Ferry. He was at Old Point on the 8th, and a deserter states he and Butler were at Dutch Gap yesterday.
R. E. L.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, August 12, 1864.
General R. S. EWELL,
Deserter reports that men at Dutch Gap are volunteers, paid 40 cents extra for digging, their purpose being to dig a canal. If they cannot be stopped arrangements must be made to make the canal useless by choosing positions and erecting batteries, &c. See what can be done.
R. E. LEE.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
August 12, 1864.
In accordance with paragraph VII, Special Orders, Numbers 189, head-quarters Army Northern Virginia, 11th of August, 1864, I hereby assume command of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia. Orders heretofore published for the government of the cavalry are reaffirmed.
AUGUST 13, 1864.
Firing has been going on all day from our gun-boats and the battery of light artillery in position at Signal Hill (Rockbridge battery) on the enemy at Dutch Gap. Our firing was warmly returned by the enemy's gun-boats, assisted by the shore batteries at Baldwin's. I am happy to say no casualties yet on our side. The Rockbridge battery of light artillery did great execution among the enemy's works at Dutch Gap. The only damage done us by the enemy was a large shell, which passed through an officer's bed, tearing up the floor and passing out at the back part of the house. No one inside at the time.
G. F. SMITH.
RICHMOND, August 13, 1864.
General S. COOPER:
(Through General R. E. Lee, commanding.)
GENERAL: I respectfully recommend that a bureau of cavalry be established here, subordinate to the Adjutant and Inspector General's