April 19 Letter from Gen. Winfield Scott

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, April 19, 1861.

Capt. H. G. WRIGHT, Corps of Engineers, Washington:

SIR: You are selected as an engineer officer of high science and judgment, to repair promptly to the United States navy-yard at Gosport, Va., and to tender your professional services to the commodore there in command in designing and executing a plan of defense for the same.

You will find the commodore instructed by his Department to expect you in your professional capacity.

I think it best that you should first call at Fort Monroe and consult Colonel Dimick on sending a portion of its garrison to assist in the defense of the navy-yard.

If two volunteer regiments shall have joined him, he may spare one of them for that purpose perhaps, but this must depend on the threatening circumstances about him; and if but one volunteer regiment has joined, the colonel may, after consulting you, deem it safe to detach two or three companies of regulars for duty at the navy-yard Show him this letter and give him a copy of it for his warrant.

Both of you will bear in mind that, although the navy-yard and its contents are deemed to be of very great importance, Fort Monroe is still more so to the Union.

You will lose no opportunity of reporting to the Adjutant-General your progress in carrying out these instructions.

WINFIELD SCOTT.


Sources

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.