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[448] to the Executive, May 19th, and the testimony of Generals Wigfall and Longstreet.

In the report I said: “Before taking command on the Peninsula, I had the honor to express to the President my opinion of the defects of the position then occupied by our troops.”

After taking command, I reported that the opinion previously expressed was fully confirmed.

Some of my objections were: that its length was too great for our force; that it1 prevented offensive movements, except at great disadvantage; and that it would be untenable after the guns of Yorktown should be silenced — a result admitted to be inevitable by all our officers, from the enemy's great superiority in artillery. York River being thus opened, a large fleet of transports and several hundred batteaux2 would enable him to turn us in a few hours.

General Longstreet wrote to me, March 21, 186 :

I cannot remember, at this late day, the particular reasons that were given for and against the move of the army to Yorktown in 1862, in our council held in Richmond while the move was going on. Mr. Davis, Mr. Benjamin, 3 and General Lee, seemed to favor the move to Yorktown-you to oppose it, and I think, General G. W. Smith.

The effort to represent you as favoring the move of the army to Yorktown is untrue and unjust, if such an effort is being made.

General Wigfall wrote to me on the 29th of March, 1873:

I know, from conversations at the

1 Being covered by inundations.

2 Spies reported five hundred.

3 General Randolph, who had lately succeeded Mr. Benjamin in the War-Office.

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