troops, so that the main body of the Army of Northern Virginia could be utilized in strategic operations, without danger of the fall of the capital into the hands of small raiding parties from the Federal
The energies of the Richmond Government
were exerted in so many directions in preparing for the struggle that the immediate preparations for the defense of the capital had to proceed very uncertainly.
On June 14th, General Lee
reported to Governor Letcher
that the work on the redoubts which had been projected was going on so slowly that he deemed it his duty to call the governor's attention to the matter.
had, during the previous month, taken the precaution to fortify the James River
below the mouth of the Appomat-tox, by having works erected on the site of old Fort Powhatan, about twelve miles below the confluence of the two rivers, and at Jamestown Island
, Hardin's Bluff, Mulberry Island
, and Day's Point
In July, 1861, the citizens of Richmond
were aroused to their patriotic duty of helping in the fortification of the city, and, by formal resolution of a committee on defenses, proposed that the city bear its proportionate share of the expense, and that their officers consult with those of the general Government as to the strength and location of the works.
It was decided to employ the services of such free negroes as would be available in the city, under the superintendence of competent officers.
To these resolutions the Secretary of War
replied on July 12th, concurring in the views expressed, and saying that the question of the division of expense should be adjusted easily, inasmuch as there was a duty on the part of the Government
to provide its share toward the protection of its capital; that the militia would be armed, equipped, and drilled immediately, and that the construction of the fortifications would be pushed.
The works erected during the spring
of 1861 in and around Norfolk
and on the James River
and the Peninsula
, were provided for by an appropriation by the State