War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0340 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.

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there are from one to three war steamers running up the river every day, throwing their lead lines and staking the channel out, and there are only two little 6 - pounder cannon in Middlesex County. I am satisfied that their purpose is to land a large number of their men at or about Urbana and march through Middlesex and King and Queen Counties, and cross the Dunkirk Bridge, which is over the Mattapony River, and on to Richmond. Now, sir, I beg that you will think of us and order some heavy cannon to be sent down to Gray's Point, which can be easily fortified, and then we can keep them out of our river; but unless we can get cannon it will be impossible for us to contend with them with our flint - lock muskets. They can land their men under their guns, and we can't get near enough to them to prevent it, so you can readily see our situation. Do help us.





Fairfax Court - House, October 11, 1861.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant. * In reference to the changes recommended by the President in uniting the troops from each State, as far as possible, into the same brigade and divisions, I respectfully suggested to the President at the time that it is scarcely practicable to make such change now. It would be dangerous, I think, to make such a rearrangement in the presence of the enemy, while we are liable to attack at any moment. I beg you and the President to consider this, and to permit the postponement of the reorganization of our troops until a time when we may have better opportunity to make it.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,





Fairfax Court - House, October 11, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS,

Richmond, Va.:

MR. PRESIDENT: In compliance with your request I have the honor to submit the following statement of the services being gratuitously rendered by Mr. E. Pliny Bryan, one of thej earliest sucessionists of the Maryland Legislature. He served originally as a volunteer private in the First Virginia Regiment for a long period, including the battles in July, and until he heard of the system of signal, when he offered his services unreservedly to me. With General Beauregard's approval I instructed him fully and sent him across the Potomac to live in Washington City, and communicate with us by signals from a window visible from Mason's Hill. This bold plan was only frustrated by our evacuation of that position while he was making his way through Maryland to Washington. He has returned safety, and is now only awaiting the perfecting plans before going back to Maryland to live concealed


* See VOL. V, p. 892.