instructed me to forward a copy to you and inquire if it is approved by the President. If not, he presumes that General Magruder will receive orders in regard to this call from you. You may recollect that on the 7th of December last the Governor received a dispatch from that officer stating that he had received reliable information that the enemy would attack Yorktown within a week with 40,000 men, and requesting authority to call out a large force of militia. This authority was given by telegraph on the mornin gof the 9th of December, but at a later hour of the same day, after a conference with you, General Magruder was telegraphed that "the President will do what may be done in regard to your dispatch of the 7th, but does not deem it expedient to call out the militia to the extent required." Nothing further was heard from General Magruder until the inclosed circulars* were received on the 1st instant. The regiments in this immediate vicinity have been ordered to meet for muster and inspectiion, a measure preliminary to the call into active service.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. RICHARDSON,
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA,
Yorktown, December 24, 1861.
I have just received authority from the Governor of Virginia to call out the militia of the State. In virtue of this authority I hereby direct that you cause the militia of your military district to assemble without delay in companies at some suitable place within your district to be named by you, and after a careful muster and inspection of them that you will report by letter to Colonel Benjamin S. Ewell, commanding officer at Williamsburg, the numbere of officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates in your regiment ready for duty. You will also direct them to bring with them to said placs of rendezvous in your district all the arms and ammunition they may have or can procure, and youw ill furnish in your report the following lists to colonel Ewell: First, the number of men with or without arms; second, the number of men with arms and ammunition; third, the number of men with arms without ammunition; fourth, the number of men without arms.
After having obtained by personal inspection the date on which to base this report you will dismiss your men, requiring them, however, to hold themselves in readiness to march to Williamsburg at a moment's warning. I would suggest further that your order the regiment to meet at least once a week for drill, inspection, and parade, so that when called upon to come suddenly they may be prepared. Each man must bring with him blankets, overcoats, warm winter clothing, good socks and shoes, knife and fork, a frying pan, coffee pot, and tin cup. I have abstained from exercising the authority given at this time to call out the militia, as I desired to take the citizens as little from home as possible. The country is, however, in danger, and the Peninsula threatened. I hope, theefore, each citizen will prepare himself at once for the field, and when the call does come, which may be any day, that he will be abel to proceed to Williamsburg without delay.
J. B. MAGRUDER,
(Commanding officers of the militia regiments in the counties of Chesterfield, Amelia, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Nottoway, Dinwiddie,
*Only one found inclosed.