Fresh troops seemed to be arriving upon the field continually during the day.
Yours, most respectfully, (Signed) J. E. Johnston. General Lee.
Richmond all the troops within reach. I have ordered Major-General Huger to evacuate Norfolk, and conduct his troops to Richmond, but have no information of his progress. “The army of the North” must be in the Department of Northern Virginia, but, as I have been informed neither of its location, strength, nor the name of its immediate commander, I must suppose that it is not under my orders. If the President will direct the concentration of all the troops of North Carolina and Eastern Virginia, we may be able to hold Middle Virginia at least. If we permit ourselves to be driven beyond Richmond, we lose the means of maintaining this army. The enemy is now almost exactly between us and “The army of the North.” That army should, therefore, be drawn back to secure its communication with this one. A concentration of all our available forces may enable us to fight successfully. Let us try.
Headquarters, Department of Northern Virginia, May 19, 1862.Before taking command in the Peninsula I had the honor to express to the President my opinion of the defects of the position then occupied by our troops there. After taking command, I reported that the opinion previously expressed was fully confirmed.