Dobb’s House, Va., June 4, 1862
Maj. W. H. Stevens,
Major: I am much gratified to learn by your letter of to-day that you have commenced a line for the occupation of our troops and hope you may be able to obtain a satisfactory one. Strengthen its natural positions by artificial defenses. The plan you propose for doing this is approved, and I hope you will be able to prosecute the work with vigor. I last evening directed Captain Rives to send 200 spades, shovels and picks in proportion, and 50 axes to you. Should Major Barbour have a sufficient quantity of tools to enable you to dispense with these, please have them returned. I also have directed him to send you such engineer officers as are available. I inclose you a copy of a general order issued to-day relative to the establishment of a pioneer corps.
I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
R E Lee
P.S. I wish you particularly to cause an examination to be made of the nature of the ground along the York River Railroad, to see whether or not some heavier guns might be placed there, as I think the only way the enemy can get his heavy guns up that way will be by the railroad.
Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, pp. 572-573.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 March 2