There are indications of a movement on the part of Hooker's army in front also. The number of tents is much diminished, the wagon trains coming from the depot are much smaller, and the camp-fires on the hills in the rear much lessened. Citizens and others across the Rappahannock speak of a change of base to the James River.
From all that I can judge, Foster has left North Carolina, and I suspect that his forces are at West Point.
I have ordered Ransom's brigade to report to you in Richmond, and await further orders. Jenkins' brigade I have ordered up to General Pickett, at Hanover Junction.
I wish you to have the defenses of richmond put in proper condition immediately, your guns and magazines ready for use, and your garrison in readiness for any emergency. Make available all the cavalry which you have at your disposal, and, in short, make every arrangement to protect the city against insult from a cavalry inroad, or from a sudden attack from any quarter.
If you can take care of Richmond with the force which you now have, I will order Pickett's division up to join Hood, on the Rapidan, so as to have a force in the rear of the enemy should he cross that stream.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHER VIRGINIA,
May 27, 1863.
General A. P. HILL,
GENERAL: I desire to divide the army into three corps; to place four of the brigades of your present division in one division, and unite the other two, with two North Carolina brigades, in a second. These two divisions I propose placing in your command, and I wish to provide them with commanders. Generals Heth, Ransom, and Pender, each commanding a bridge in the projected divisions, are the most prominent candidates for the positions. I desire your opinion as to the most suitable persons for promotion, not restricting your selection to these three.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Fredericksburg, May 27, 1863.
General J. E. B. STUART:
GENERAL: I have received your letters of the 25th and 26th instant. I informed you by telegraph this morning that I had received no positive information of the movements of the enemy, except through you. Appearances in front of Fredericksburg do not indicate as large a force as usual. Tents and camp-fires have diminished. There are not as many wagons arriving and departing at the railroad depot near Falmouth, and fewer men are visible. The Norther papers also indicate a projected movement. Your scouts, I hope, will ascertain the facts, and keep us timely advised. I wish also to ascertain whether Milroy has left the Valley. It was reported to me some days since that the passed