War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0476 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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July 13, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER,

Secretary of War of the Confederate States:

SIR: Your letter to the Governor of the 12th instant was received this morning at this department. In the absence of the Governor he has authorized me "to run over and transfer to the Government of the Confederate States, for use during the war, all the machinery and stores captured by the Virginia forces at Harper's Ferry now in possession of the State, reserving the right of property therein. " By letter addressed to the President on yesterday he was informed of my readiness to make the transfer. In accordance with that letter I have directed Colonel Dimmock to turn over the lead mentioned in your letter to Major Gorgas. It is necessary, however, under the resolutions of the convention of this State, that "an inventory of all property thus turned over" should be taken and preserved. In my letter to the President on yesterday I stated this necessity, and informed him that the colonel of ordnance of Virginia, in conjunction with any officer to be detailed by his orders, should take the necessary steps for a correct and fair inventory. This order has been given, but I have not yet received a reply to my letter from the President, nor been apprised that any such officer has yet been detailed.

Heretofore there has been an understanding between the Governor and His Excellency the President that a division of labor in the Ordnance Department should be made, and in consequence of that understanding a proclamation was issued by the Governor ordering that the preparation and issue of ammunition and everything connected therewith should be transferred to the Confederate States, and that the manufacture of gun carriages, caissorments belonging to artillery and the issue of artillery and arms should be assigned to the ordnance department of Virginia. In conformity to this supposed understanding, Major Gorgas has superintended the construction of ammunition in the building established therefor and with the laborers employed by the State, and Colonel Dimmock, colonel of ordnance of Virginia, has continued the manufacture of gun carriages at the expense of the State, and at this time he has orders from General Lee to furnish equipments for field artillery not yet completed. It is proper to know if it is desired that this arrangement and distribution of duties should continue or all these duties be performed by the Ordnance Department of the Confederate States. Some arrangement ought to be made for the completion of these orders. With every disposition to act in the utmost harmony with the Government of the Confederate States in all its departments, and in no manner to throw obstacles in their way, we are yet compelled to conform to the positive requirements of our laws.

I am, sir, very respectfully,


Secretary of the Commonwealth.


Richmond, July 13, 1861.


Gainesville, Prince William County, Va.:

SIR: There was some delay in the reception of your letter of 2d instant, but I reply to it at the earliest possible moment. My former