and they have not replied to the shots fired by our own battery. The four guns which they had in position yesterday must have been removed. It is the universal opinion of the officers with me that the enemy have withdrawn the mass of his forces. This opinion is also that of the inhabitants left on Mulberry Island.
Last night Major Ramseur heard the tattoo of several regiments. To night only the band of one regiment was heard. There seem to be but few men on the opposite side of Warwick River. To-day the buildings left standing around the houses fired last night were burned by the enemy. Several wagons were seen to leave Young's farm-house. I saw one move from there myself this evening, and there seem to be but few men at the house. All these facts seem to show that the enemy has retreated from the immediate vicinity of our lines.
I would also mention that there is a large quantity of meat and corn at Mr. Curtis' farm belonging to the quartermaster's department, which it might be best to remove. There is also a good number of cattle which could be taken by the quartermaster and driven off. It would be preferable to leaving it, perhaps, for the benefit of the enemy.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. COLSTON,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Third Brigade, Second Division.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
April 23, 1863.
Lieutenant General THOMAS J. JACKSON,
GENERAL: I have received General Colston's letter, of 8.30 o'clock to-day, which you forwarded to me. I think from the account given me by Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, of the Engineers-who was at Port Royal yesterday-of the enemy's operations there the day and night previous, that his present purpose is to draw our troops in that direction, while he attempts a passage elsewhere. I would not, the, send down more troops than are actually necessary. I will notify Generals McLaws and Anderson to be on the alert, for I think that if a real attempt is made to cross the river it will be above Fredericksburg.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
April 23, 1863.
In consequence of the great and daily increasing difficulty of obtaining animals and forage, the baggage of this division must be cut down to the lowest figure.
One wall tent will be allowed to division and one to each brigade headquarters, and one for division quartermaster. One tent fly for every 4 commissioned officers, and one for every 10 non-commissioned officers and privates. The number of tents and flies over and above this allowance must be sent to the rear at once by railroad.
Each officer will be allowed a small hand-trunk or valise, and enlisted men will carry one blanket and a change of underclothes on their horses. The wagons allowed to regiments and brigades must be used