or arresting deserters and absentees and recruiting your brigade. On arriving at Petersburg you will deliver to General Pickett the orders with which you are charged, and explain to him fully the plan of operations. Report to me your progress in collecting troops for your brigade, your position, &c. See strictly to the comfort and health of your men, as well as to their discipline and instruction.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, January 20, 1864.
General A. R. LAWTON,
GENERAL: I design sending General Hoke to North Carolina on special service. About 1,000 of his men will leave Gordonsville this evening about 7 p. m. for Richmond, and the remainder, about the same number, to-morrow evening, 21st. I have divided them in order that they might take the down freight trains, so as not to interfere with the supply of provisions for this army. I request that you will forward them to Petersburg to General Pickett, who will give them further orders. They can march from Richmond to Petersburg, if more convenient, but you will have to forward their camp equipage. I shall direct General Pickett, in forwarding them on, to employ the empty trains going south and endeavor not to embarrass the transportation of supplies on the road. Please make arrangements to pass them right through Richmond. Each regiment will be in charge of its commanding officer. General Hoke will see to their conveyance from Petersburg.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS, January 20, 1864.
Colonel JOHN TAYLOR WOOD:
COLONEL: General Hoke's brigade will leave to-morrow evening. He himself will precede it to Petersburg to arrange for its transportation and for that of the guns, &c. He carries orders for General Pickett. I have endeavored to anticipate everything. If you want any help from the military call upon General Pickett, and this will be your warrant. If you get possession of the gun-boats turn their guns on the batteries on the Neuse, to facilitate Hoke's advance. Should the place fall, secure all the water transportation you can for the movement of troops and supplies. Urge the completion of the gun-boats on the Roanoke and Neuse, that they may become available as soon as possible.
Wishing you all success, and commending you to the care of a merciful Providence.
I am, very truly, yours,
R. E. LEE,