Charles Dimmock Compiled Service Record, M331, National Archives
April 27, 1861
Maj. Gen. Lee
Cmdg Army & Navy
As your attention is so monopolized by the personnel application of our rather unsystematized(?) citizen soldiers, I propose to put on paper what I have to say.
First, without your positive orders I fear there will be a dangerous delay in removing the machinery from Harper’s Ferry. Capt. Carter of this dept sent by me to take charge and recover this machinery writes me that it will take probably six weeks to remove it.
From the tenor of his letter I conclude that there a disposition from the surrounding citizens to hold back the removal.
Would it not be best for you to instruct Genl Harper in command to push forward this matter?
Second, As there is not [page break] room at the Armory to work up and pack away all the ammunition for Long ordnance, field pieces and small arms I respectfully suggest that the Laboratory work upon all ammunition for the heavy pieces for stationary batteries be done elsewhere than at the armory and under the superintendence of a Naval officer. Why not at Norfolk? If not there I can get a large tobacco factory in this city. It is more than I can attend to having but one officer in my department and he away at Harpers Ferry. In conversing with Capt. Mims(?) of the Navy he entirely approves of this but your order seems to be required. I can attend to all field arty and post troops, but wish the heavy guns and their ammunition to be under the Navy dept.
If it be intended to give me an experienced officer to aid me in the Ordnance Dept, please do so but give him a rank beyond that of Capt as if he [page break] is experienced he should rank higher than Capt.
The call for ammunition has been and is yet great. I hope none will be wasted for we have none to spare.
As it now is, Gen’l Richardson, Adj. Genl. gives the orders for the issues, carefully I know but he is importuned excessively. Some assistance I think should be given him.
Pardon this suggestive communication.
I have the honor to be
Yours Very Resp.
Col. Of Ordnance