War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0690 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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On York River three batteries have been constructed, mounting thirty guns of calibers similar to the guns of James River...30

Sites for batteries on the Potomac have also been selected, and arrangements were in process for their construction, but the entire command of that river being in the possession of the United States Government, and larger forces required for their security than could be devoted to that purpose, the batteries at Aquia Creek have only been prepared. Twelve guns are in position there...........12

On the Rappahannock River a four-gun battery of 32-pounders and 8-inch columbiads has been erected.................................4

Six batteries have been erected on the Eighteen River to guard the approaches to Norfolk and the navy-yard. They mount eighty- five guns, 32-pounders and 8 and 9 inch columbiads...................85

To prevent the ascent of the Nansemond River, and the occupation of the railroad from Norfolk to Richmond, three batteries have been constructed on that river, which will mount nineteen guns.......19

The brigade United States has been prepared for a school-ship, with a deck battery of nineteen guns, 32-pounders and 9-inch columbiads, for harbor defense..................................19

Total..........................................................32 4.

The frigate Merrimac has been raised and is in the dry dock, and arrangements are made for raising the Germantown and Plymouth.

In addition to the batteries described, other works have been constructed for the land defense, exceeding in many instances the works on the batteries themselves. An extensive line of field- works has been erected for the security of Norfolk on the sides toward the bay. Redoubts for the same purpose have been constructed at Jamestown Island, Gloucester Point, Yorktown, and across the neck of land below Williamsburg.

I have confined myself to a general narrative of operations, and for the details refer you to the reports of the several chiefs of staff.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.

Thus as early as the months of December, 1860, and January and February, 1861, the seceding States put themselves in readiness to answer promptly the first call for troops made upon them by the so-called Provisional Confederate Government. When organized, February 8, 1861, that Government found an army awaiting its call.


On the 28th of February, 1861, an act was approved "to raise provisional forces for the Confederate States of America, and for other purposes." It provided:

That to enable the Government of the Confederate States to maintain its jurisdiction over all questions of peace and war, and to provide for the public defense, the President be, and he is hereby authorized and directed to assume control of all military operations in every State, having reference to or connection with questions between said States, or any of them, and powers foreign to them.

That the President is hereby authorized to receive from the several States the arms and munitions of war which have been acquired from the United States, and which are in the forts, arsenals, and navy-yards of the said States, and all other arms and munitions which they may desire to turn over and make chargeable to this Government.

That the President be authorized to receive into the service of this Government such forces now in the service of said States as may be tendered, or who may volunteer, by consent of their State, in such number as he may require, for any time not less than twelve months, unless sooner discharged.

That such forces may be received, with their officers, by companies, battalions, or regiments, and when so received shall form a part of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, according to the terms of their enlistment; and the President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of Congress, such general officer or officers for said forces as may be necessary for the service.