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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
Page 1053 Chapter XXXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

North. Re-enforcements are still coming to General Burnside's army. Two regiments left Alexandria while he was there, and four were waiting for transportation to Aquia Creek. Three regiments of cavalry were also marching by land, and a large pontoon train was moving through Dumfries while he was in that vicinity. He visited Staten Insland, where the troops said to be for Banks' expedition were assembled. He thought there were about 7,000 troops there, though it was stated that the expedition consisted of about 35,000. He was shown at Brooklyn navy-yard some iron-clad steamers, said to be preparing for the expedition, and among them was the Monitor. From all that he saw and heard, he is convinced that the expedition is not for Texas. If he is correct in the opinion that they are preparing iron-clad vessels for the expedition, it certainly cannot be intended for Texas, and the report has been circulated to conceal its real object.

I noticed in some of the intercepted private correspondence of the enemy, that many stated they has signed a paper to accompany Banks' expedition to Texas. Not supposing that he would be assigned to a command of much importance, I attached some credit to these letters. I see from the Northern papers that his troops are principally from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania,and must be new, nor am I aware that he has with him any officer or prominence in their army. I also see it stated that his troops embarked in sea-going vessels, and I believe the fleet of steamers now in Hampton Roads is part of that expedition. It would seem that they are not intended to operate in that quarters, or they would not be conveyed in steamers of that character.

A telegram of the 30th ultimo from Fortress Monroe states that the ocean steamers with troops still remain there; that they are drilled on shore daily, and reports rough weather. It would seem, therefore, that they are destined for some other port.

The indications, from the Northern papers, are that the expedition is intended to operate in the Southwest; it may be in the Mississippi River, or against Mobile.

The scout above referred to was told in Washington, by a person in the Coast Survey, Office, that it was intended for Brunswick Harbor, with the design of taking Mobile in reverse; and another person told him that it was intended for James River. He is of opinion that Burnside's army is intended to force a passage to Richmond by this route, and he heard great anxiety expressed at his delay.

the impression seemed general at the North that if Richmond was taken the war would be ended, and every effort would be made this winter to accomplish that object.

Burnside's army is represented by him to be 220,000 strong, and increasing.

It is difficult to say, from this statement, what is the actual plan of the enemy; but I think that Burnside's army is much magnified, and that Banks' expedition is probably designed for some point south of James River. The monitor and four other iron-clad boats are now in Hampton Roads, and they are probably intended to operate in those waters.

If the troops in North Carolina and around Richmond can keep back attacks directed from south of the river,this army, if not able to resist General Burnside's advance, can retire upon the capital, and then operate as circumstances may dictate; but if the operations of the enemy south of James River cannot be resisted, it had better at once approach nearer


Page 1053 Chapter XXXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
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