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997 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


tion to encourage a landing. I have heard from Major Ramseur that his battery of six pieces will leave Raleigh to-morrow for Surffolk, where he will report to General Pemberton for duty with his brigade along James River, west of Nansemond. Four other field batteries, of four pieces each, are now nearly equipped. These have been got up by great exertions by General Pemberton, and the caissons and harness will soon be done. One battery is on the coast, west of Craney Island, and the other three still at a camp of instruction, on Tanner's Creek; and, being fitted up, I can now use them, if necessary. I am moving the regiments down, to guard the beach on Easten Peninsula and the passes on the roads beyond the entrenched camp; and what I want to say to you is, that now I will soon be ready, if we have been able to make any rifled cannon of large caliber, to place a battery, properly guarded, on the point nearest to Old Point-distance to wharf at Old Point just three miles. Their fire will be dangerous to shipping, and will make the landing of steamboats at the wharves there a troublesome operation Guns might have been established there before, but other than rifled cannon would have had little or not effect, and only provoked an attack, for which we were not then prepared. Hereafter I shall be glad to receive one. Will you please let me know if a battery of, say, four rifled guns, heavy caliber, can be had? I have heard Mr. Anderson was making some. I make this private, as I do not wish it spoken of. I impress on every one that I have a great contempt for firing at long range, and order no battery to fire until they are sure to hit; but, when I am all ready, I know good rifled guns can damage shipping (not batteries) at three miles, elevation from 16^ to 20^; a columbiad would require 35^. Let me have your views.

Yours, truly,



Monterey, Va., July 24, 1861.

Colonel GEORGE DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: The Arkansas regiment, Colonel Rust commanding, reached this point the day before yesterday, and was sent forward yesterday, upon this road, to the support of Colonel Johnson's command, seven miles in the rear of which they are now stationed. The absolute want of water rendered it impossible that these commands could be brought nearer together, and we are destined to encounter the same difficulty along the entire road from Monterey to the Alleghany. While this may seem to be a cause of serious weakness, giving the enemy an opportunity of taking our forces in detail, yet, on the other hand, the character of the road is such as to render it utterly impossible for any body of men larger than a regiment to operate effectively at the same time. I have no doubt, therefore, that the entervening mountains can be defended by our force, small as it is, against any regular approach of the enemy. My great cause of uneasiness is, that a part of them may possibly be turned and cut off. This is to be guarded against, of course, by vigilance and by scouting; and I am sorry to say that the troops upon which we must rely for the discharge f that duty are sadly inefficient. They are all, both cavalry and infantry, volunteers and militia from this region of Virginia, and, from the perpetual applications made to me for the furlough, not simply of officers and privates, but of compa-