War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0280 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.Chapter LXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Gray's Point and Cherry Point, on the Rappahannock River; that guns were actually sent to the former place, and a regiment of infantry ordered to each place for the protection of those engaged in the intended fortifications, but that this order was contermanded upon representations made to the Department by some officious person or persons that these fortifications were unnecessary, and that the localities where they were intedned to be erected were so unhealthy as to make it impossible to keep a force there, which wold be cut off, not by the enemy, but by the diseases incident to the climate. Now, your memorialists assert that there is not a more healthy situation than Cherry Point to be found anywhere in the State of Virginia; that about this place the banks of the river are high; that there is no marsh in the neighborhood, and being very near the mouth of the river it has the constant breezes from the bay always blowing upon it, and such situations are known through the lower country to be proverand in this respect no way inferior even to the mountainous ranges of the country.

Your memorialists further state that the river between these points is less than two miles wide; that fortifications erected thereon would completely command the Rapphannock, and leave but a small portion of its shore and of the bay shore to be defended below, and would be an entire protection to the whole country drained by the Rappahannock above. Your memorialists beg leave also to call the attention of the Department to the necessity of these fortifications on the Rappahannock River as a defense to the city of Richmond. At present there is nothing to prevent the enemy from landing in any force he may think proper at Urbana, in Middlesex County, and fromthat point to the York River Railroad at West Point is only about sixteen miles. It will be recollected also that Urgana is not more than twenty miles from the track of the enemy's steamers in going up and down the Chesapeake Bay; that it would be an easy matter for them tofit out an expeidtion against Richmond, run their steames up the Rapphannock, land their forces at Urbana, andmarch across to West Point, take possession of the railroad there, and move on to Richmond before any army of the Confederate States could be gotten in position to meet them from any point at which an army is now encamped known to your memorialists.

Your memorialists further state that so far as the protection to their counties above is concerned they believe that an efficient battery of rifled cannon of flying artillery would be sufficient for their defense, as such a battery could probably keep off the enemy's steamers from landing, and indeed drive them from the river, unless they should attempt to land in force for the purpose of moving on Richmond, and in that event they would not land on their side of the river, but on the Middlesex side.

Your memorialists further state that they have recently been informed that no longer ago than last week or the week before an order was issued ment to Colonel Richardson, of the Forty-seventh Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, to move his regiment to the county of Lancaster; that General Holmes publicly said that he would have that order countermanded if he could; that Colonel Richardson positively refused to obey the order; that the lieutenant-colonel of that regiment was sent to Richmond to obtain a countermand of that order, and that the order has been countermanded. Your memorialists would most respectfully ask if the information they have received be correct? And if so, they beg most respectfully to ask if their section of the country is to be abandoned to the enemy because either a general or subordinate