Today in History:

939 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


and equipments. As regards the latter, they are actually suffering. Many are without blankets, and I may say nearly all without tents. The nights are cold, and there is much rain in this mountainous region. Sickness is therefore to be apprehended. In addition to this, they are obliged to carry their ammunition in their pockets, and that which escapes the rain is ruined by the perspiration of the men and the wearing out of the paper cartridges. I asked before leaving Staunton for one thousand cartridge-boxes, but I suppose it will be some time before I shall see them. I shall ask to-day for five hundred tent flies, as it will take too much time to make tents. I simply want something to protect arms and ammunition from rain.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



RICHMOND, VA., June 18, 1861.

General R. E. LEE,

Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Virginia:

GENERAL: I have been ordered by Colonel D. H. Hill, temporarily in command at Yorktown, to see you in reference to a letter recently written by him requesting re-enforcements and that some heavy guns should be sent for the interior lines at Yorktown. At present there are in Yorktown, besides the field pieces of my battalion, four columbiads in the water battery, two brass 12-pounder navy howitzer, and two iron 6-pounders. The interior lines are very extensive, not less than three-quarters of a mile in length, to some extent commanded by the heights north of the morass, which are too extensive to be occupied, and on the east there is a level, open country, traversed by the roads from Hampton and Wormley's Creek, favorable to the erection of batteries by the enemy. To render the place tenable, if attacked by a force with a siege train, I respectfully submit that we should have at least twelve heavy guns, eight of them to be mounted on the eastern lines, three on the southern, and one on the western, to command the road from Williamsburg. I find that Captain Ingraham, the Chief of the Naval Bureau of Ordnance, can supply us with eight 32-pounders of twenty-seven hundred weight, and four 42-pouder carronades with navy carriages. These guns are well suited to our purposes, the former firing round shot and shell effectively, and the latter firing grape shot for short ranges, such as are to be found on the northern line, facing the morass. Captain Ingraham can also furnish four boats, capable of transporting four or five hundred men, which will be very useful in preserving the communications between Yorktown and Gloucester Point. I respectfully ask permission to receive these guns and boats. Two of the guns are at Gloucester Point and two at West Point; but Captain Whittle authorizes me to say that they are not ready for them at either place, and that he should prefer seeing them mounted at Yorktown.

The Secretary having given me an order for thirty-six horses, to supply the loss of eight in the action of the 10th instant, to mount four men for each of the six navy howitzers in my battalion, to mount two chief of caissons, and to furnish two spare horses for the two batteries, I respectfully ask a detail of a non-commissioned officer and eighteen men to carry the horses to Yorktown. General Fauntleroy informs me that he can furnish the men without inconvenience.

I also inclose a requisition upon the Ordnance Bureau for thirty-six halters and twenty-six riding saddles and bridles for the horses above