that battery two or three 10-inch columbiads, with carriages, chassis, &c., platforms complete, with 200 rounds a piece? No time should be lost.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
RICHMOND, May 25, 1864.
General B. BRAGG,
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following as the result of my inspection of the guards at the bridges on the Danville railroad, and also to report, as directed, other facts which came under my observation: At the bridge over the Appomattox River, near Mattoax Station, the guard on the 20th instant consisted of 100 men and 7 commissioned officers from the Eighth Regiment Virginia Infantry, commanded by Captain Bibb, of the Twentieth Battalion Heavy Artillery. This guard was well armed and had plenty of ammunition. They had two pieces of artillery well posted and the position protected by a line of rifle-pits. I suggested that the telegraph operator be moved from Powhatan, the next station below, to Mattoax, for the convenience of communicating promptly with the officer in command of the guard. All the reserve militia of Powhatan County have been ordered to rendezvous at the Appomattox bridge. Two miles and a half above Mattoax I found about 250 dismounted cavalry, under Captain Nicholson, belonging to Hampton's Legion. These I sent to Richmond to report to Major-General Ransom. I directed the officer commanding at Mattoax to send a small guard up to Flat Creek to prevent the bridge being burnt by negroes or evil-disposed persons. There were at Burkeville 400 furloughed soldiers of General Lee's army detained to protect that point at the time of the approach of the raiders. There were no reserves at Burkeville. Colonel Davis, an officer detailed to organize the militia, had established his headquarters at that place, and was taking steps to assemble the reserve forces of the neighboring counties. The only other bridge where a guard was needed was at the Staunton River. Here forty of the reserve militia had assembled under the command of Captain Bailey. They were armed with muskets, and had three pieces of artillery in good condition and one piece that had the carriage broken by accident on the railroad. All the reserves of Halifax and Charlotte Counties are directed to assemble at the Staunton bridge. These forces will be sufficient to defend the bridge against any attack that would probably be made. An assistant engineer was on his way to carry tools and to direct the construction of defenses at this and other important bridges on the route. A battalion of 350 men belong to the most of Danville, but only thirty were there at the time of my inspection, the rest having gone south as guards to prisoners. The defenses constructed at Danville are incomplete, and there were no guns to put in them except a battery of field pieces. The reserve troops of counties adjacent were ordered to report at Danville on Saturday, the 28th of May. No prisoners, except the few sick, remain in Danville. Prisoners en route for the south are detained but a few hours. There are no bridge guards on the Piedmont road. It is completed through, but is not in good condition. The grades on that portion recently finished are steep and the track badly laid.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,