properly constructed casemates may resist their fire from that distance. As a natural consequence of what I have said, I should advise that all the guns be removed from the water batteries and placed on the hill, and that as promptly as possible. On the hill the iron-clad gun-boats will find it almost impossible to injure the batteries while they would destroy almost immediately all water batteries, especially those near deep water. The four or six guns (say 32s), which I suggest shall be placed in a sort of masked battery on the beach, shall communicate with the interior of your works by a covered way. Below I give a sketch of the idea:
The detailed plans I have not worked up, but will try to send down by Colonel Carter in a day or two. The object, then, to kept in mind is to withdraw as much as possible our guns from the murderous fire of iron-clad vessels; however, in positions effective against transports and wooden war vessels. The bluff batteries at Yorktown fill all these conditions. It is evidently impossible to keep such a vessel as the Ericson from passing our batteries, but vessels of her class are exceedingly expensive and unfit for transporting troops, and thus only able to interrupt water communication. We shall therefore before long be forced to rely upon land transportation in great measure. Positive obstructions, very heavy guns, and torpedoes or infernal machines, I think, will succeeded against even iron-clad vessels, and it is to these means we are having recourse on James River. Detailed men are paid for extra duty by the Quartermaster's Department, in accordance with the Army Regulations. It is proposed to place immediately to your credit $20,000. As soon as the necessary delays have been gone through with in the Treasury Department you will receive a notification. I shall press the matter. Mr. Dade will give you further information respecting your requisitions, &c. Please shows this letter to General Magruder, to whom I propose writing by Colonel Carter.
Very respectuflly, yours.
ALFRED L. RIVES,
Acting Chief, engineer Bureau.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 58.
Richmond, March 13, 1862.
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XIV. Brigadier General Samuel G. French is relieved from duty with the Army of the Potomac, and will without delay report in pereson to General R. E. Lee, in this city.
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By command of the Secretary of War: