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[132] in making gun carriages for the river defenses and field service, preparing ammunition for all arms, constructing machines for the manufacture of caps, etc., ammunition wagons, etc., which must be continued. It seems to me, therefore, impossible at this time to prepare a marine battery, such as you describe, which would be effective in carrying out your design, as desirable as it would be. All the force and means at Norfolk are now employed in preparing defenses against a water and land approach. Could proper redoubts be erected at Willoughby's and Sewell's points, capable of standing a siege, and with an armament to command the adjacent waters, they would be of great advantage. Ineffectual batteries would provoke useless conflict and expose to the risk of capture the heavy guns therein placed. This has, in a measure, been recently exemplified . . . Gen. B. Huger, formerly of the United States army, an officer of great merit, has been assigned to the command at Norfolk, and I hope will be able to secure it against successful invasion.

On May 25th, Governor Ellis notified President Davis that 37,000 stand of arms in the Fayetteville arsenal were at his disposal; that troops were constantly coming in, and he asked what he should do with a regiment that was ready for service, concluding: ‘The people are a unit, waiting for an advance on Washington.’

Brig.-Gen. Benjamin Huger reported, from Norfolk, on the 26th, that with time and means he hoped to soon get the defenses of Norfolk in order; that Williams' North Carolina regiment had arrived from Richmond, and the Federals were landing troops at Newport News.

Major-General Butler moved a body of troops, by transports, from Fort Monroe to Newport News, about 7 a. m., May 27th, and began intrenching a camp, of which he reported, ‘when completed, it will be able to hold itself against any force that may be brought against it, and afford even a better depot from which to advance than Fortress Monroe.’ His next movement would be to take the battery at Big Point, exactly opposite Newport News, and commanding Nansemond river, and once in command of that battery, he could advance along the Nansemond and take Suffolk, and there either hold or destroy the railroads between Richmond and Norfolk and between Norfolk and the South; then, with a perfect blockade of Elizabeth river, ‘Norfolk will be so perfectly hemmed in that starvation will cause the surrender, without risking an attack on the strongly fortified intrenchments around Norfolk, with great loss and perhaps defeat.’

In a letter of May 27th, Butler informed Scott that the people of Virginia were using negroes in the batteries

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