be here and they know the country thoroughly. I will not send the regiment to Core Creek on Monday, as it could not join me before Thursday or Friday, would leave my brigade very much scattered, and would very much impair its efficiency. Kemper can make the demonstration if you still desire it. Colonel Lewis will remain in command of the outposts until my men are relieved, and he can give all the information. The regiment that I should have sent knew nothing at all of the country. With Nethercutt's people there will be no lack of guides.
I am, general, very respectfully, & c.,
Petersburg, Va., March 21, 1863.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding, & c.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 19th is received. I am doing all that I can to draw the supplies from the eastern portion of North Carolina, but have been obliged to detach portions of General Pickett's division for that purpose. My operations must be very limited, as I do not feel authorized to use Hood's division for any purpose, as it would take him so [far] from you that he would not be able to join you at Fredericksburg. In this connection I would suggest that the troops should be taken up by rail instead of the artillery. I think that you will need the infantry more than the artillery. When I arrived at Richmond I found that the troops were moving up to join you by marching and the battalion of artillery shipping by rail. The movement of the latter had better be delayed than that of the former.
I remain, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S. - I send you a report just received. Reports reach me from various directions leading to the same conclusion. The commander on the Blackwater has reported the arrival of large re-enforcements at Suffolk. I believe that an advantageous battle could be made at Suffolk in the next fifteen days, but at least one division in addition to what we have would be necessary.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
March 21, 1863.
Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET,
Commanding Department, & c., Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 19th instant. I had hoped that you would have been able with the troops in North Carolina to have accomplished the object proposed in my letter of the 17th* and did not suppose that you would have required Pickett's and Hood's divisions, as from information I received the enemy between the Roanoke and Tar is feeble. I still think if you can retain them in reserve, to be thrown on any point attacked or where a blow can be struck, it will be the best disposition of them. If, however, you see an opportu
* Not found.