Today in History:

692 Series I Volume IV- Serial 4 - Operations in the South and West

Page 692(Official Records Volume 4)  


It is necessary to have two hundred wheelbarrows to transport the earth for fortifications, where it is necessary to erect them in places that afford only surface earth. There are many of these, and the works cannot be erected in any reasonable time without them. I hope they also may be ordered and furnished without dearly.


J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Major-General, Commanding.


OCTOBER 28, 1861.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. It appears to me that this is a most extraordinary demand-so I may term it-made at this late day, when it is considerate that the Department has not been previously of its importance.

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

YORKTOWN, October 26, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: A statement has just been made to me by an officer below that the whole fleet of the enemy, crowded with troops, has sailed up the Potomac. I do not know that this is reliable, but it is so important, if true, that I think it proper to communicate it. I will endeavor to obtain further information if possible, and transmit it by telegraph, for which purposes the operator at Richmond had better be ordered to sit up. Since writing the above a special messenger , one of my own men,has brought reliable information from the neighborhood of Hampton, and states that there are thirty regiments this morning between Hampton and Fort Monroe; that part of the fleet set sail with other troops-destination not known;' that a considerable quantity of artillery are with the thirty regiments now between Hampton and Fort Monoe, and that the it is stated there that by 3rd November they will drive our troops from Yorktwon, and in six weeks they would be in Richmond. The statements in regard to the number of troops are deemed to be reliable. They were doubtless in that number and position this morning. General Wool has changed his headquarters to Newport News, General Mansfield being in command of the forces at and near Fort Monroe.

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Major-General,Commanding.

RICHMOND, October 28, 1861.

General JOSEPH R. ANDERSON, Wilmington, N. C.:

The enemy's fleet has just left Hampton Roads. Our spies in Washington report that the expedition is aimed at Wilmington, Smithville, and Fayetteville Arsenal. Keep a good lookout, and telegraph us the instant it shows itself. There are about 1,500 Georgia troops at Goldsborough. If the fleet approaches you, telegraph also to General Gatlin, at Goldsborough, to forward the Georgians, with their field battery, to your aid, and we will send further re-enforcement. I dare not send more troops now, as the information may not be correct.*

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.


*Similar dispatch to Gatlin, same date.