NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, April 25, 1863.
Brigadier General W. H. WHITING, C. S. A.,
Commander-in-Chief, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 21st instant has been received. Knowing your want of heavy guns I would have sent you the Raleigh's battery before had it been ready. But two of the guns designed for her are anywhere near ready. They will be sent with ammunition and equipments in a few days. They are two 11,000 pound double-banded Brooke 6.4 guns, whose penetration, as shown by our iron targets, equal that of the 7-inch. Their bolts weigh 90 pounds.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
Wilmington, April 21, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: Please to ask the Secretary of the Navy if he will lend me that armament of the Raleigh, especially the Brooke rifles, until she is ready to use them. She will not be ready for at least three months, and during that time I may be attacked and those guns would be of incalculable service in the defense.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTH VIRGINIA,
April 27, 1863.
Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I received last night a dispatch from Major [William] Norris, chief of signal corps in Richmond, stating that a special scout to Washington City had returned Saturday night. After giving the strength of General Hooker's army, which he had put down very heavy (between 150,000 and 160,000), and that he had been re-enforced from Baltimore, Washington, Alexandria, and Harper's Ferry, he says that 10,000 or 12,000 men had been sent to suffolk which were not taken from Hooker's army. Although I think his statement very much exaggerated, yet all accounts agree that Hooker has been re-enforced, and that troops from the rear have been brought forward to the Rappahannock. This looks as it he intended to make an aggressive movement, but by what route I cannot ascertain.
A dispatch from Stuart, of the 26th, received last night, states that Stoneman is in force in the neighborhood of Warrenton; that a brigade of infantry is guarding the Rappahannock Bridge and the fords each side; that the trains are running regularly on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad to Bealeton, but that he does not learn they bring up nay troops.
I am glad to learn by your letter received yesterday by special courier that you are getting everything out of North Carolina as rapidly as possible. can you give me any idea when your operations will be