RICHMOND, May 7, 1861.
We respectfully recommend to Major-General Lee, commanding-in-chief, the favorable consideration of the proposition this day submitted to him by Colonel Thomas H. Ellis for the formation of a home guard of field artillery for the defense of the capital of Virginia.
ALEX. R. HALIDE.
[AND FIFTEEN OTHERS.]
HDQRS. OF THE FOURTH REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY,
Richmond, April 17, 1861.
His Excellency JOHN LETCHER,
Governor of Virginia:
SIR: Regarding the late proclamation of the President of the United States as declaration of war against the South States, I have the honor, in behalf of myself and the officers and men of my command, to tender you the services of the Fourth Regiment of Artillery of the Virginia Militia for such military duty, in defense of Virginia and her sister States of the South, as you may be pleased to assign to us. The bounds of this regiment, under the law of the State providing for the public defense, are so extended at to include a considerable portion of Tidewater Virginia. There has been no occasion since I assumed the command to muster the regiment, even for instruction; still less for resisting, nor do I know personally a majority of the officers. Nevertheless, foreseeing some time since in the unhappy division of our country a state of feeling which I apprehended would result in a conflict of arms, I addressed a circular to each of the captains of my command, as well as to the clerk of the circuit and country courts, the commissioner or commissioners of the revenue, the attorney for the Commonwealth, and the colonel of the regiment, in each country, soliciting certain information as to the strength and condition of the artillery arm in their counties, respectively. From these several sources I feel authorized to say that while the regiment, in a military point of view, is greatly disorganized, and, with the exception of the company in this city, without guns or accouterments, yet that there is perhaps a unanimous desire on the part of officers and men to receive suitable equipment and to hold themselves in readiness for any service which may be required of them by the constituted authorities of the State. In these impressions I am well confirmed by recent interviews with the lieutenant-colonel, the two majors, and other commissioned officers of the regiment, non-residents of this city. Upon the information thus received I feel fully authorized, for and in behalf of my entire command, to tender their services, as I tender my own, for the performance, according to our best ability, of any duty to which you may be placed to assign us. And I beg leave to remark, in reference to this particular arm of the service, that the importance of field artillery must be recognized by all who are familiar with the topography of the country embraced within the bounds of this regiment, and its peculiar adoption to the defense of such a region. Without entering a recital of the military principles applicable