Gordonsville 20,000, or even 30,000, men might be thrown into Richmond in a single day. This wold require military control, however. May not that be assumred in such a time as this? We should gain greatly by that arrangement with the help of such a superintendent as Owens, the president of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. About four days' rations for the army were destroyed at Manassas and a corresponding quantity of grain, which, by a singular blunder, was put there just in time to be destroyed. More than half of the salt meat at Thoroughfare was left there for want of the means of bringing it away. This property was all abandoned because I found it impossible to depend upon the promises of the railroad officials or to make any estimate of the time in which it might be removed. Two weeks were consumed in removing what was saved and the sick. Much more than half of the regimental property was left and burned, fortunately for the mobility of the army, although personal losses are to be deplored. This army had accumulated a supply of baggage like that of Xerxes' myriads.*
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
June 10, 1862.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I propose for your consideration sending two good brigades from this army to re-enforce General Jackson. These, with the Georgia regiments now on the way, and Lawton's brigade, ordered to take the Lynchburg railroad at Petersburg, will make him strong enough to wipe out Fremont. With his whole force Jackson can then be directed to move rapidly to Ashland, where I will re-enforce him with fresh troops, with directions to sweep down north of the Chickahominy, cut up McClellan in his present position for a week or ten days during this movement, and be getting our troops from the south. I think this is our surest more. McClellan will not move out of his intrenchments unless forced, which this must accomplish, and it will hazard too much, with our inferior numbers, to attack him in them. Please consider this immediately and decide. It must be commenced to-night. If you decide in favor, direct railroad transportation. Officer must be sent to hasten Lawtong along, who will require aid. I am reconnoitering on our right, and have sent cavalry in McClellan's rear to cut up foraging parties and wagon trains.
Very respectfully, with high esteem, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
[11 and 12.]
Near Richmond, July 18, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to inclose a note just received from General Stuart. I had directed General Jackson, in the uncertainty of
*For reply, see VOL. V, p. 527.