Thursday next and to get what supplies there are east of that stream and, if I find it possible, to make an effort to get that garrison. There seems but little room to doubt but the enemy is inclined to make his great effort in the West, but we may break him up in the East and then re-enforce in the West in time to crush him there. It may be necessary in this view to suggest to the commander in the West to decline battle there until we can re-enforce, unless he finds a favorable opportunity. I hope to be able to furnish with the operations in this section in time to join you as soon as the roads are in condition for you to begin to operate. I have not thought that the enemy could advance on either this or your line until the roads were better; on this, not at all, unless he sent other than the forces that he has had here. The forces that have gone West may have been sent there to keep down trouble. It is possible, too, that he has deceived himself with regard to the forces sent by us West. The three regiments that were sent from here may have been magnified into a great force. Their papers have frequently mentioned movements of our troops toward Kentucky.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-All of my information is to the effect that half at least of Burnside's command is still a Suffolk.
HEADQUARTERS, April 4, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I send you a letter just received from General Hill. I have ordered six rifled guns instead of only four. As he has under-taken Washington it is important that he should reduce it; otherwise it will give the enemy great confidence. I doubt if New Berne is worth the trouble and time it would take to reduce it. General H. asks for two weeks; in addition to these two weeks it will require tow to move out to Suffolk and draw the supplies from there. Can we afford to consume this time and reach you before the enemy can move? It depends on your roads more than anything else. If you can spare me two more brigades and artillery I can operate at once. I think that I might do with one brigade and a battalion of artillery. If we succeeded in getting one of the positions of the enemy of the enemy the others may not be so difficult.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
You might telegraph in such a way as to indicate your wishes without making them understood to operators.
Kinston, N. C., April 4, 1863.
Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET,
Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 30th was duly received. Kemper made a demonstration on New Berne. The enemy kept within his works. Hill