pate want, and for the last four months strenuous efforts have been made to convince the Government of the impending necessity, by invincible demonstration and applications to be permitted to apply an efficient remedy, by obtaining a large supply of bacon, when this was practicable, but without success.
L. B. NORTHROP,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 23, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: appearances now indicate that the enemy intend to advance. They seem to be moving to the line of the Rappahannock. They have shown themselves opposite Port Royal. Our scouts also report the preparation of bridges on Mr. I Seddon's farm, to which point they are conveying their pontoons and artillery. In addition to the force reported near the mouth of the Rapidan, consisting of cavalry, with twelve pieces of artillery, marching up the White Ridge road. No infantry was seen. This lastnamed force may be intended to join hands with General milroy, in the Shenandoah Valley, who has abandoned Moorefield and the South Branch of the Potomac, and has his advance at Front Royal.
Lieutenant Smith, of the "Black Horse Cavalry," also reports that the portion of the Federal Army near alexandria, presumed to be General Slocum's command, crossed the Wolf Run Shoals on the 19th, and resumed its march on the 20th in the direction of Dumfries or Fredericksburg, moving as rapidly as possible, with a large train of wagons.
It looks as if they intended to concentrate all their forces, and make a vigorous effort to drive us from our position. The storm of yesterday and the day before will prove unfavorable for their advance, as the roads have become heavy and the streams swollen. It will also operate unfavorable to our rapid concentration to oppose them at the point they may select.
I have requested General Cooper to direct all men and officers belonging to this army now in richmond without authority, to return to their posts. I have also directed General W. E. Jones, should General Milroy cross the Blue Ridge, to follow with his whole force and unite with General Hampton.
If there are any available troops about Staunton or Richmond, it will be well to advance them toward this line.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin Depot, January 25, 1863.
THOMAS DODAMEAD, Esq.,
General Superintendent Virginia and Tennessee Railroad:
DEAR SIR: Major-General Jones, commanding this department, has instructed me so to fortify the approaches to New River Bridge, on the line of your railroad, as to enable the guard he proposes to keep per