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‘ [141] as the bearing of the men, which was entirely what it ought to have been.’ Magruder left his cavalry at Big Bethel, but marched the remainder of his forces back to Yorktown. His cavalry pursuit of the Federals continued for 5 miles, to New Market bridge across the southwest branch of Back river, which the flying enemy had destroyed. He wrote in concluding his report: ‘Our means of transportation were exceedingly limited, but the wounded enemy were carried with our own wounded to farmhouses in our rear, where the good people, who have lost almost everything by this war, and who could see the smoking ruins of their neighbors' houses, destroyed by the enemy both in his advance and retreat, received them most kindly and bound up their wounds.’

On the 13th, General Lee acknowledged the receipt of Colonel Magruder's account of the action at Big Bethel, and added: ‘I take pleasure in expressing my gratification at the gallant conduct of the troops under your command, and my approbation of the dispositions made by you, resulting, as they did, in the rout of the enemy.’

General Lee, in correspondence with Colonel Magruder at this time, urged the rapid construction of batteries for water and land defense, hoped that the defenses at Sewell's point and Craney island, which were in weak condition, had been completed and provided with sufficient garrisons; and among other things,. said the troops he was collecting at Suffolk should hold command of and prevent the destruction of the railroads.

Hon. R. M. T. Hunter wrote from Lloyd's, June 10th, to President Davis regarding the rumor that the real attack upon Richmond would be made from the Rappahannock, which he thought practicable. He gave a detailed description of the routes that would probably be taken by an invading army having Hanover Junction for its strategic objective, and suggested the proper locations for defenses against such a movement, not forgetting, good, loyal, Tidewater Virginian that he was, that some of these defenses would protect some oyster-beds.

On the 14th General Lee called the attention of Governor Letcher to the slow progress being made, for the want of laborers, in constructing the defensive works about Richmond, suggesting ‘that all available persons in and about Richmond be organized for the defense of the city; that they provide themselves with such arms as each ’

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