[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
December 20, 1863.
No news from Hamilton; no danger there yet. Can we do anything for the people of Suffolk? I fear not. If possible, I will go there and fight Butler over, anyhow. I shall withdraw troops to-morrow from Franklin, unless you think we could catch them below Suffolk. I will move down, and, if the enemy are certainly gone, recall Griffin. Excuse me for troubling you so much.
M. W. RANSOM,
[Inclosure Numbers 4.]
[December] 20, [1863.]
General GEORGE E. PICKETT:
The following dispatch received from Franklin, dated 20th, to General Ransom:
A deputation of 2 ladies from Suffolk came last night. General Butler has notified the citizens of Suffolk that they must take the oath of allegiance to the Federal Government or leave immediately. They are loyal to the South, and wish your advice on the subject. Those left in Suffolk, if they should leave it, would lose their all, and not be able to support themselves in our Confederacy. Tuesday is the day fixed. He is to send a provost-marshal and troops there on that day to administer the oath. All quiet here.
Major, Commanding Forces, Blackwater.
Abstract from return of the Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding, December 20, 1863.
Present for duty.
Command. Officers Men. Aggregate Aggrega-
present. te prese
General headquarters 19 106 151 209
Second Army Corps 1,543 15,735 20,327 37,095
Third Army Corps (A. 1,291 15,543 19,303 29,928
P. Hill) b.
Cavalry Corps 609 7,530 9,437 17,227
Artillery Corps 244 4,371 5,233 6,925
Total. 3,706 43,285 54,451 91,384
aIncluding scouts, guides, &c. The provost guard dropped and not accounted for.
bThomas' and Walker's brigades detached.
DECEMBER --, 1863.
The honorable delegation in Congress from State of Florida:
GENTLEMEN: The undersigned, a committe appointed by a meeting composed of the officers of Perry's brigade, to communicate with you upon a subject of vital importance to our existence as a military