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920 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 920 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

been completed and provided with sufficient garrisons. Each should be commanded by an intelligent and active officer, and of some experience. I hope there are many in your command. The batteries at both places should be provided with works, to prevent their taken in reverse.

Should the enemy desire to cut off your communication with Richmond, the possession of the battery at Pig Point would become important to them. Its defenses should, therefore, be looked to, and every arrangement made to prevent its surprise and capture. The troops that I have endeavored to collect at Suffolk, being prepared for service, under an efficient officer, may enable you to hold command of the railroad and prevent its destruction. Should a movement be made upon that point, information should be immediately communication, if possible, to Weldon and this city, that troops be concentrated from these points and Norfolk to oppose it. It is thought probable, from the conduct of the enemy at other points, that when an attack is made it may be expected at the dawn of day. Every preparation should, therefore, be made at night for such an event.

The officer commanding the troops near Hampton has been directed to watch the movements of the enemy encamped at Newport News, &c., and should preparations for their embarkation be discovered, to press upon them, with a view both of retarding their embarkation and of retaining as large a force as possible in their camp. No great reliance can be placed upon this operation, however, unless it can be discovered that the batteries on York or James Rivers are not to be attacked, as the security of the batteries will have to be attended to by the troops on that line.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.

LLOYD'S, VA., June 12, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, &c.:

MY DEAR SIR: Since I left Richmond I have been thinking of the rumor that the real attack upon Richmond would be made from the Rappahannock River. Whether the plan has been laid I know not; but I fear it is feasible, and, as you cannot be acquainted with the topography of the country, I will say why I think it practicable. The only defense to bar the passage of our steamers on the Rappahannock, up to the head of tide, is a little fort (Lowry), which is now being erected, about thirty miles from the mouth of the river. This fort is four and a half miles below Tappahannock, the county seat of Essex. Should an army be landed a little below the fort, it would cost but little to silence it, and then the whole Rappahannock Valley would be thrown open to the hostile fleet. This valley abounds in supplies of food, and is thickly populated with negroes. From Tappahannock to the junction of the Central with the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, in Hanower, is a distance of from twenty-five to thirty miles. The obstacles to the march are mainly to be found in the Mattapony and Pamunkey Rivers. The Mattapony, where it would be crossed on the route, is so narrow and shallow as to present a military obstacle of small importance. The Pamunkey, near the junction, is fordable, except at night water. Both have wooden bridges, but these might be turned. Once at the junction, an invading army might take either of two railroads, and reach Richmond

Page 920 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.