Richmond, Va., March 28, 1862

Brig. Gen. R. E. Colston,

Commanding, &c., near Smithfield, Va.:

General: In order to enable you to carry out the instructions which you will receive from Major-General Huger in relation to the crossing of your brigade to the Peninsula to re-enforce General Magruder a boat will be sent to Stone House Wharf, on James River, and held subject to your order.

It is not intended that you shall cross the river until you have positive evidence that a demonstration is being made against General Magruder. The move on the Peninsula may be a feint and the real attack be on Norfolk.

You will do all in your power to keep yourself accurately advised of what transpires on the Peninsula, and should there be any positive indications of his moving in force in that direction you will cross, and report to General Magruder with all dispatch. Great care and judgment must be exercised to prevent being deceived as to the real intent of the enemy, and much rests on your discretion and decision.

Inform General Magruder of your position and ability to join him when actually necessary.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,

General, Commanding

(Copy sent to General Huger)




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, part 3, p. 409

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 April 18