great plan of the enemy, intended to cut off supplies and communications, and so surround Richmond and General Lee's army as, if possible, to capture both. Another grand anaconda idea, which we should prepare for, and which we might laugh to scorn if it were not for our real deficiencies of supplies, and the just apprehension that may well be entertaiend from even temporary interruption of communications. I am forced to be absent from the city for a day or two, to my serious regret, but I feel safe in so doing, resting for the direction of military affairs and proper action in any emergency on your superior experience and judgment. I shall return on Tuesday or Wednesday next.
Very truly, yours,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
Four or five hundredthusand men aretobe opposed to Lee, with the largest amount of artillery ever known. They are to cross the Rapidan and Rapphannock. Sigel is to advance at the same time down the Virginia Valley, cutting the lines of communication with Eastern Tennessee. Simultanously Butler advances from Fortess Monroe on Richmond. The troops are to be moved as secretly as possible from Charleston and brought up to swell their hordes. Bursnide will come on by way of the Carolinas to take Richmond in the rear, and the fleet to co-operate with the troops withdrawn from Florida for the purpose. Troops also in large force will be conveyed from Western Virginia, through Cumberland Gap. The intention is to surround Richmond and starve her people out, taking Davis and his cabinet, unless Richmond is abundantly provisioned and abundantly manned. These movements will take place within asshort a speace of time as possible, say probably in the course of a month. Those troops which are now being brought on from the West to strengthen the Army of the Potomac are the old veteran troops, and vast quantities of artillery and ammunition and commissary stores are daily being brought to the Army of the Potomac. Never since the Persians invaded Greece has such a force been inaugurated, and the fall of Richmond is considered sure.
E. H. WYVILL.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, Va., April 17, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Commanding C. S. Armies, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of yesterday is received. The toneis as harsh as the inferences to be drawn are unmerited. Your instructions to me were "to keep me advised." This I attempted to doby sending you all the telegrams and reports from scouts which I received. These combined with your many other sources of information, I supposed would enable you to form your own conclusions. The enemy occupying an extent of country such as they did, from the James River to the vicinity of Franklin on the Blackwater, it was not at all suprising that the reports of scouts should be conflicting.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. E. PICKETT,
55 R R-VOL LI, PT II