Richmond, May 3, 1862


General Joseph E. Johnston,

Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:

General: Officers returning from the Peninsula have represented to the President that many men are leaving there on sick leave, surgeon’s certificate, &c., and that there is great danger of the arms with which they have been intrusted not being turned in to the proper officers, and of their being misplaced and lost. The scarcity of arms makes him very solicitous upon the subject, and he has directed that an officer of the Ordnance Department be sent down to aid your ordnance officer, under such directions as you may give him, in collecting and securing their arms. Mr. M. P. Taylor, military storekeeper, has been designated by Colonel Gorgas for this duty, and is the bearer of this letter.

It will be a great relief to the commanders of your divisions, brigades, and regiments when your time will permit you to designate officers for ordnance duty, as prescribed in General Orders, No. 24.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 3, Part 3, p. 491

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 March 22