conveying to you this information, suggest that you have your available force in readiness for action, and posted, say, near the Drum Shoals, being above the New Inlet rip, to protect that point. You would then be in readiness to observe which bar would be attacked, and certainly in the best position to render service in the defense. That rip is most exposed, owing to its distance from any guns.
I would also suggest that, in the limited and defective character of my river transportation and the heavy draft upon it, if possible, you would aid the engineer department and quartermaster, with your steamers, should they be compelled to call upon you.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HDQRS. ART., ARMY NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers --.
December 21, 1863.
Major John Page, chief quartermaster, artillery, will supervise the operations of his department with the artillery in winter quarters, so as to have irregularities corrected and all requisite supplies appropriately furnished.
He will ordinarily be the medium of communication between the chief quartermaster of the artillery of each corps, the reserve, and the chief quartermaster of the army.
Major B. L. Wolffe, chief commissary, artillery, will occupy a like position and discharge like duties in reference to supplies in his department.
W. N. PENDLETON,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
December 22, 1863.
Major General JUBAL A. EARLY,
GENERAL: I telegraphed you to-day with reference to obtaining supplies for the army while the troops are in the valley, and now write to explain my views more fully. I wish you to avail yourself of the present opportunity to collect and bring away everything that can be made useful to the army from those regions that are open to the enemy, using for this purpose both the cavalry and infantry under your command. I hear that in the lower valley, and particularly in the country on the South Branch of the Potomac, there are a good many cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs. Besides these, there is said to be a quantity of bacon, cloth, and leather, and all these supplies are accessible to and can be used by the enemy. I desire to secure all of them that it is in our power to get, and you will use your command for the purpose of keeping back the enemy while the work is being done. You will buy from all who are willing to sel, and where you cannot buy, you must impress and give certificates to the owners. Of course you will not take what is necessary for the subsistence of the people, but leave enough for that,