Today in History:

99 Series I Volume XI-III Serial 14 - Peninsular Campaign Part III


siege material while getting up guns and making roads. Have actually at the artillery depot just in rear of my camp ten rifled 4 1/2-inch guns, ten 24-pounder siege guns, one 8-inch siege howitzer, nine 10-inch mortars, seven 8-inch mortars, one 8-inch howitzer, 105 barrels powder, 775 round shot and shell. The work of landing got on during the night. Our field artillery and sharpshooters have done considerable firing to-day, annoying the enemy considerably.



WACHUSETT, April 14, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I am very sorry you are obliged to defer your visit to-day, as we may soon have thick weather.

The enemy are collecting about the picket station I designated yesterday as the one where notes were being taken. The troops are in the rear, out of range, and came down in squads of a dozen to look at the ships. They seem to anticipate us.

From the ship to-day it would seem that the works being thrown up at Gloucester's upper works are to defend their rear, which has been neglected up to this time to a certain extent. Our movement on it should be hastened, to save our troops as much as possible.

Last night at contraband came on board from Gloucester in a canoe, at which they fired. He is not intelligent; says there are only five companies of troops in Gloucester, and that they have many pickets out; one company of 15 or 20 men near the creek (Sarah's); that they except the Merrimac here, Colonel or General Magruder having written for her to come up, which is promised him; that the battery at Gloucester Point is commanded by Jeff. Page, late of U. S. Navy, a good officer; Richard Page, also formerly of Navy, in command of one of the upper works at Gloucester; that they are very sanguine of sinking vessels, and have practiced their firing, which is very accurate; says Page (Jeff.) can kill a dog at a mile. He knows roads and creeks. I will send his p.m. If you want him, telegraph.

Would it not be well to communicate with flag-officer Magruder's expectation of Merrimac coming here? It can do no harm, and if she escape in the night we might be telegraphed the fact, as we must have room to oppose her more than we have here.

One-half hour on board this vessel is all that would be necessary to give you a clear idea from this stand-point.

I much fear if we delay or are obliged to delay our landing the troops will find a battery in the rear of picket station to oppose them with telling effect.



CAMP WINFIELD SCOTT, April 15, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Nothing of interest during the night. Our working parties very strong to-day. Hope to make good progress in the roads and bridges leading to the position of our heavy batteries. We are doing all that