War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0149 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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RICHMOND, VA., June 27, 1861.

General ROBERT E. LEE,

Commanding, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: In accordance with your request I have the honor to report that while watching the U. S. forces at Newport News in the steam tender Teazer we sounded through the Swash Channel across Burwell's Bay, but having no instruments fixed no marks for sailing directions nor any distances. The upper entrance we found marked by a bush stuck in the mud, which we passed close on the left hand, with nine feet at low water. Half a mile below this steering about south-southeast, one-half east, the water deepens to eighteen feet, and continues at that depth till we approach the lower entrance, where it shoals to nine feet again. The lower entrancei s also marked by a pine stake, which we leave on the left going down, well open with the lower light-house till certain landmarks on Day's Point come on, when we steer for Day's Neck till the water deepens. This Lower entrance I estimate to be one mile and half from Day's Point. The distance across the bay by the Swash I estimate to be six miles; channel straight and wide except at the entrance. The time employed in running it was forty-three minutes, while we were sixty-two minutes making the distance by the ships' channel; tide with us each way, about the same strength. I believe that the upper entrance might be obstructed, but our examination was too hurried to be thorough.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant, C. S. Navy.




Yorktown, June 27, 1861.

Colonel McLaws, of the Confederate Army, will take command of all the troops at and in the vicinity of Williamsburg, including King's Mill, Grove's Landing, Spratley's farm, &c. He will also see that the defenses in that neighborhood are prosecuted with vigor. Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell will report to Colonel McLaws the exact condition and progress of these works, and will give Colonel McLaws all the assistance which his knowledge of the country and the people may enable him to do in order that the defenses in the neighborhood of Williamsburg may be finished without further delay, as well those that are commenced as those in contemplation. Colonel McLaws will make immediate requisition for such additional artillery as may be required for these works, and particularly for heavy guns, with ammunition for the same. he will order all the troops to work on the trenches until they are complted, and press the works forward with the utmost possible vigor. Captain Rives, engineer is assigned to duty with Colonel McLaws, and will communicate to him the plans adopted by him and the brigadier-general commanding. Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell will do likewise. The station of Colonel August is hereby directed to be changed to King's Mill or Grove's Landing, at his option. Lieutenant Thornton who was ordered to report to Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell to drill the artillery companies at the manual of the piece, and who, it has been represented to the brigadier-general commanding, has made no progress in this duty, will report to Colonel McLaws, who will direct him to take post in camp with the men he is to instruct, and to press them on in the knowledge of their duties with the most unremitting