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[188] the bridge near Drewry's Bluff has been received.1 Upon inquiring of the acting chief engineer, I find that everything necessary for the construction of a bridge has been furnished Captain Blackford and sent down to-day, except labor. Fifty laborers have also been sent down, and others will be sent as soon as they can be procured. Owing to the difficulty of getting hands, it will be necessary to draw any additional force that may be wanted from the troops stationed in contiguous positions to the work.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General.

Headquarters, Richmond, Va., May 22, 1862.
General J. E. Johnston, Commanding, &c.
General,--Your letter of this morning2 by Major Whiting has been received, and I can only assure you that there is no question as to the extent of your authority or command. The troops at and around Drewry's Bluff are commanded by General Mahone, and are a part of General Huger's division, whose operations you of course control.

As regards the work at Drewry's Bluff, it was commenced under the general plan and superintendence of Captain Rives, and subsequently has been placed in immediate charge of the Navy. The system adopted is so far advanced as to render it hazardous to change it, and the only thing to be done is to strengthen and complete it as fast as possible. Captain Clarke is considered the constructing engineer, and I see no objection to Major Stevens having the general control, if his other duties will permit, or at least to his giving to Captain Clarke and the naval officers in charge the benefit of his experience and knowledge. But the President is unwilling to disturb the arrangement with the Navy Department now existing, further than is necessary to insure the general control of the military operations now exercised by General Mahone, who is, of course, subject to your orders.

I am, General, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General.

Headquarters, Harrison's, Va., May 28, 1862--9 A. M.
General Lee.
General,--If McDowell is approaching, of which there can be no

1 Not found

2 Not found.

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W. Mahone (2)
Robert Edward Lee (2)
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Rives (1)
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Joseph E. Johnston (1)
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