Today in History:

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

Page 708(Official Records Volume 4)  


of troops in Yorktown in that case would be about 3,500. We will do our best to defeat the enemy, but it is proper that the facts should be made known to the Department.

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Major-General, Commanding.

RICHMOND, December 9, 1861.

General J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Yorktown:

Your dispatches received. It is not believed that any such forces as are represented to you can possibly be within the enemy's line. The unarmed regiment you desire will be sent to call out an unarmed militia, and no call for them can be sanctioned. We have no news whatever of any fleet at Fort Monroe threatening your department, but are glad to find that you vigilant and hopeful.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, December 9, 1861.

General J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, YorktoWn, Va.:

SIR: Your requisition for additional forces has been received through the telegraph. You have just returned from this city, where you passed some days, and must have been satisfied of the extent of our means and wants. This is the only answer that can just now be made to your requisition; but it is proper to say in this connection that, in communicating your wants to this Department, it is deemed unsafe to employ the telegraph at this time. They had better be conveyed by express and with caution.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

P.S.-The Twenty-third Regiment of Georgia Volunteers is ordered to report to you; then to be armed as you have suggested.

YORKTOWN, December 11, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

I can properly arm 2,000 men. The works at Jamestown Island are left without defense by infantry, and those at Williamsburg have neither infantry nor artillery ot defend them, as all the artillery except three guns in in front on field. The call I made for militia would not produce probably more than 1,000 men. Many of these would be armed with shot-guns. I want them to hold the works at Spratley's, at Jamestown, and at Williamsburg, so that if the enemy should pass our posts below, on James River, he may find these works occupied; otherwise he would of course occupy our own works in our rear. I cannot but think it hard that I am not permitted to all upon and arm the posts in defense of the country. This description of troops will do well behind breastworks. I beg that the Twenty-second Georgia Regiment, promised me, may be sent without delay. If there are are any regiments in Richmond without