four, bacon, &c. Applications to Quartermaster's Department for an additional number of wagons have not succeded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General of Subsistence.
RICHMON, FREDERICKSBURG AND POTOMAC R. R. CO., PRESIDENT'S OFFICE,
Richmond, July 30, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: The return of General Lee's army to Virginia, and the necessity of shortly supplying it from Richmond, make the destruction of the four railroad bridges and other structures at and near Hanover Junction an object of primary importance to the enemy and of solicitude to the Confederacy, involving, by the impossibility of restoring those structures in less than two or there months, the necessity of a hurried and disastrous retreat by General Lee to the vicinity of this city, if not farther. I observe in the newspaper a statement that a large cavalry force is being congregated at Williamsburg for another expedition, most probably to this very point, and to be supported by a column of infantry and artillery. Permit me again to invite your attention to the expediency of protecting not merly these bridges and buildings at the near Hanover Junction, but other parts of these roads and the country on both sides of the Pamunkey, through which these devastation raids are made, by stationing and active expeditionary force of light artillery, cavalry, and infantry (mounted if practicable), not pent up as at present in the forks of the Pamunkey, formed by the North and South Anna Rivers, at Hanover Junction. A comparatively small force would man the works there ane hold than point if protected from an attack in their rear, but beyond the North Anna, near Chresterfield Station, thirty miles form Richmond, from which point they could fully protect the rear of the works and position at the bridges near the Junction, otherwise untenable if attacked in their rear, and at the same time be ever ready to meet and by rapid marches, especially at night, to attack in flank and cut off or at least drive back any expedition moving toward these bridges from Williamsburg or the White House. At the same time this force would in this way be a proteple and crops of the counties of Hanover, Louisa, Caroline, King William, and even of King and Queen and Essex, and would be always in supporting distance not only of the forces near these bridges and of another less and advance force (which should be stationed between Hanover Court-House and Old Church to protect the Central road south of the South Anna, and especially the trestle-work near Hanover Court-House and the Chickahominy), but of both Richmond and Fredericsburg, to either of which points form Chesterfield Station a whole army division of 8,000 or 10,000 men could by the united machinery of the two railroads be easily transported in twenty-four hours or less at the rate of 3,000 men every four hours. Thus if a whole division wee detailed for this purpose, from the defense of Richmond or Fredericksburg, they could be easily returned to either point where they were needed before the enemy could reach it, while they would be qartered in a healthy country abounding in good water and pasturage, upon the line of two railroads available for transporting them and their supplies. Several objections I