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Headquarters,

Richmond, Va., March 31, 1862

 

Maj. Gen. J. B. Magruder,

Commanding Department, Yorktown, Va.:

General: I have the honor to acknowledge your telegram asking that Ramseur’s battery be sent you. There is already under your command on the Peninsula double the amount of the artillery in the Department of Norfolk.

It was not intended that General Colston should cross the river unless there was positive evidence of an attack against you in force. The instructions were to this effect; nor was it contemplated that Ramseur’s battery or the cavalry should accompany him until it was ascertained that no attack was threatened on Norfolk.

From present indications I think that Norfolk is quite as seriously threatened as the Peninsula, and more probably the object of attack. Should the latter prove the case, it is expected, as intimated to you by letter on 26th instant, that you will render all the assistance in your power compatible with the security of your own line.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General, Commanding

 

 

 

Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, part 3, p. 413

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 April 18