Ewell then commanding and for fully six weeks thereafter, so that the defense were, I should think, under his control during that period, although in this opinion I may be mistaken. At all events it seems to me that an earlier report was possible. It is further proper to state that during a period of three weeks Colonel Ewell placed scarcely any labor at my disposal, and that consequently scarcely any progress was made. Colonel McLaws, of Georgia, now commanding the post, and General Magruder for the time being making Williamsburg his headquarters, I hope soon to make a favorable report of progress. General Magruder approves of what has been done and what it is proposed to do. The following defenses are in progress or executed.
First. Main central work directed to be inclosed nearly finished, except the last closing line; front completed; platforms for guns, magazines, &c., in order. Second. Square flanking redoubt on right and dam on left well advanced. Third. Defenses at Tutter's Neck, battery for two gunsd and rifle epaulement completed. Fourth. King's Mill, rifle epaulement completed. Fifth. Spratley's farm, battery for four guns, two real and two imitation (by General Magruder's order), well under way; will be completed next week. Sixth. At King's Mill Landing, part of Colonel August's regiment engaged in throwing up breast-works and arranging battery for two pieces. Seventh. At Grove's Wharf, the remainder of Colonel August's regiment engaged in local defenses. There are still six flanking square redoubts to be constructed, which, with the large amount of labor placed at my disposal by General Magruder, will soon be completed.
With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
ALFRED L. RIVES,
Captain of Engineers.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers 41.
Manassas Junction, July 17, 1861.
I. The general commanding the Army of the Potomac announces to his command that at length the enemy have advanced to subjugate a sovereign, and impose upon a free people an odious Government. Notwithstanding their numerical superiority, they can be repelled, and the general commanding relies confidently on his command to do it and to drive the invader back beyond his intrenched lines; but to achieve this the highest order of coolness, individual intelligence, and obedience on the part of each officer and man are essential. Great reliance will be placed on the bayonet at the proper juncture, but above all it is enjoined upon officers and men to withhold their fire until directed. The superior intelligence of the individual members of this command should in this respect compensate for the want of a veteran, longtrained soldiery. In firing, each man should take aim, and never discharge his piece without a distinct object in full view.
II. The following are announced as the general and personal staff of the general commnading, and any written or verbal orders conveyed through them, or either of them, will be obeyed: Colonel Thomas Jordan, Provisional Army of the Confederate States, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Clifton H. Smith, Provisional Army of Virginia, assistant adjutant-general; Captain S. W. Ferguson, C. S. Army, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Williamson, Virginia Army, chief engineer; Captain E. P. Alexander, Engineer Corps, C. S. Army; Major William L. Cabell, C. S. Army, chief quartermaster; Colonel R. B. Lee, C. S. Army, chief