[font="Courier New"]Mr President,
All orders have been received and are diligently being carried out. A review of our forces in my department:
General P.G.T. Beauregard--Army of the Potomac--30,000 men and 112 cannon
General Jackson--Shennendoah Force--10,000 men and 24 cannon
General's Huger and Magruder guard the southern approaches to Richmond with approximately 9,000 and 6,000 troops respectively. I am pleased to see the administration's commitment to providing her armies with good artillery, I would request, unless otherwise intended, that one battery be reserved for use at Norfolk. This city will be very important to us in the coming conflict as you surely know.
General Winder guards Charleston with a small detachment.
General Johnson has been dispatched to Nashville to assist General A.S. Johnston with all that he may need. I am in agreeance that his skills could be far better utilized on that front.
My orders for the current campaign. I have ordered the Army of the Potomac to remain at Manassas in a strong defensive position and await the Federals' next move. General Beauregard informs me that Union General McDowell has nearly 30,000 troops stationed outside Alexandria, VA poised to strike south. Federal papers and politicians in Washington are pushing hard for an attack and Mannassas would be the ideal location. I was troubled to hear that General's Holmes and Bohnam declined commissions to lead larger commands than their respective brigades, but neither were inclined to do so. Word has reached my ears that neither of the men seem to understand the gravity of the situation. Beauregard will maintain overall command and hold his position.
General Jackson will split his command. A new division under General E.K. Smith has been formed. General Smith has been ordered to march with all speed Northwest across the blue ridge and into West Virginia, aiming to strike a blow at Grafton, disable the depot there and render that flank useless to the enemy for the immediate future. This operation is sure to provide relief to what is anticipated to be a hard Union Push on Harper's Ferry at some point.
General Jackson will take two remaining brigades to Harper's Ferry and begin digging in there.
I have ordered that rails leading to Harper's Ferry be cut and General Jackson has informed me that the 1st Virginia cavalry has been assigned to the task and should be able to complete the operation quickly and without fail. Should our cavalry encounter any significant resistance, they will be ordered to rejoin General Jackson in Harper's Ferry.
I have issued General Winder orders to move west with his force and take a position in Pensacola, FL in anticipation for an attack on Fort Pickens. I will request the use of some rolling stock for his transport, he should arrive in Pensacola by Mid to late August. I will send word to General Johnston of my intentions for this command and notification that Winder will, until the operation is a success, be under his command.
I humbly request, in anticipation of what will be an attempt at several of our port cities on the eastern coast, added militia reinforcements in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to be sent to protect our vital ports there.
A small brigade from Huger's command in Norfolk has been sent to garrison Covington as ordered. I would ask for permission to use a portion of our river transport to shift forces from Magruder's command to Norfolk to help suppliment Huger's force.
I am troubled to receive reports that there are no soldiers being trained to fill the needs of our armies should they be engaged. I fear with our relatively light stock of human resources compared to our Federal counterparts, if our armies do not receive replacements, we may very well be bled into submission. I humbly request that our brave formations in the field receive all the support which may be offered them.
These are my orders. I hope they meet with your satisfaction. I would gladly receive your objections and act to correct them if possible.
Your humble servant,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy[/font]