the army of General Hooker have left the vicinity of Aquia, except the corps of General Smith, which went to Newport News. It is also reported that it is General Hooker's intention to cross the river and advance as soon as the state of the roads will permit, and that in fact he has issued repeated orders to that effect. I am not fully informed as to their apparent intentions, strength, & c., on the south side of the James River, but we should be prepared to concentrate to meet him wherever he should advance in force. From present indications it is fair to presume that we shall be called upon to engage him first on the Rappahannock, and I desire you to be prepared for this movement, and make endeavors to keep yourself advised of the disposition and preparations of the enemy on our front for moving the troops recently detached from the First Corps, or such of them or others as may be necessary in that direction. As our numbers will not admit of our meeting him on equality everywhere we must endeavor, by judicious dispositions, to be enabled to make our troops available in any quarter where they may be needed, after the emergency passes in one place to transfer them to any other point that may be threatened. Please let me hear from you on this subject.
R. E. LEE.
Wilmington, N. C., March 16, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I send you to-day a tabular statement of my command, as required by the letter of Major [S. W.] Melton, of the 10th instant. I call your attention to the following list of unattached companies of heavy artillery: Captain McBryde's company, 92 strong, Fort Caswell; Captain W. A Holland's company, 54 strong, Fort Johnson; Capts. A. McRae's company, 143 strong, and George Tait's company, 84 strong, Fort Fisher; Captain Calvin Barnes' company, 61 strong, Fort Saint Philip; Capts. D. M. Beuie's company, 78 strong, R. G. Rankin's company, 116 strong, city garrison; W. B. Lewis, Company A, 86 strong, H. M. Barnes, Company B, 90 strong, and C. [M.] T. McCauley, Company C, 94 strong. Total, 898. The last three constitute the Tenth North Carolina Battalion, and under the command of Major W. L. Young. These companies are in service for three years or the war; are well drilled and armed. They are heavy artillery, and have been raised in the district for the defense of the Cape Fear and Wilmington. I think it will be better on all accounts and that the efficiency of these troops will be promoted by organizing them into a regiment. Should a move from here become necessary this will have to be done. I propose that the ten companies as they stand in order of the rank of captains shall be constituted or accepted as a regiment of Confederate troops; and as they are already in service I recommend for appointment the following field officers: To be colonel, Robert Tansill, captain, C. S. Army; to be lieutenant-colonel, John J. Hedrick, major battalion of artillery, C. S. Army, and to be major, W. L. Young, major battalion of artillery, C. S. Army. Captain [Robert] Tansill, C. S. Army (Regular Army), formerly an officer of Marines and late colonel First [Second] Virginia Artillery, is a Virginian, is now acting inspector-general, and has been frequently recommended for promotion. His knowledge of the profession is thorough and extensive. I know no officer whom I should prefer to command a regiment. Major John J. Hedrick is from this town and