HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, Va., January 8, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
C. S. Army:
GENERAL: Your telegram in answer to my communication of 6th is at hand. One of General Clingman's regiments is on the Blackwater; the other three are in camp near this place, and General Clingman is quite anxious not to go back. I would advise, and I think you will agree with me, that it were better not to send any North Carolina troops into North Carolina at present, if possible. The complexion of affairs there now is very threatening, and the presence of other men whom we could depend on might be of infinite service in case of internal trouble. For these reasons I shall prefer sending Kemper's brigade directly through to Goldsborough. I will have the necessary transportation ready to-morrow night for a brigade. If you coincide with me about Kemper, Captain Symington will telegraph me immediately, and I can retain the train till next day. If not, he will still inform me of your determination, and I will take proper steps.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. E. PICKETT,
9 P. M.
P. S.-By telegram just received from General Elzey, I learn that Kemper's brigade will be here in the morning. As transportation could not be furnished before to-morrow evening I will await your answer by telegram through Captain Symington as to whether I shall send Kemper directly on.
G. E. P.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 8, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I take the liberty of inclosing for your consideration a letter* received from Major Richard, of the quartermaster's department, inclosing one* to him from Mr. Whitecomb, superintendent of the Virginia Central Railroad. Major Richards is the officer stationed at Goldsville, charged with the transportation of supplies over the Central and Orange and Alexandria Railroads to this army.
When last in Richmond I had a conversation with Mr. Whitecomb on the subject of transportation over his road, and was led to believe that this it would be attended with no difficulty. He then expected to hire 500 hands on the 1st of January, which would give him ample labor for all his purposes. It seems he has been disappointed and anticipates greater trouble in his operations than ever. The road is now barely able to furnish limited transportation. If this diminished it will be impossible for me to keep the army in its present position, when the railroad as well as country will be exposed to ravages of the enemy. The company is able to pay the
* Not found.
68 R R-VOL XXXIII