made for failure in some quarters, and as the negroes will be sent on at different times, there will not be as great a number as the call embraces taken from the farms at any one time. I respectfully ask instructions how to proceed at your earliest convenience.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
[SEPTEMBER 17, 1864.-For Lee to Seddon, reporting affair at Coggins' Point (16th) and other operations, see Part I, p. 852.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., September 17, 1864.
Major General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: Your letter relative to the construction of a bridge across the Cape Fear River to connect certain railroads was referred to the Engineer Bureau, which reports:
Careful inquiries, examinations, surveys, and reports have been made and the undertaking found to require much material and labor. As the gauges of the two roads meeting at Wilmington are different, as the connection through Petersburg is broken, and as the presidents of the two railroad companies at Wilmington, on direct appeal, decline to give any aid to the construction of the proposed bridge, favorable action in the within proposition is not recommended.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 17, 1864.
Hicksford, also Weldon and Stony Creek:
Body of enemy's cavalry, estimated between 3,000 and 5,000, passed down Jerusalem plank road to-day. Be on the lookout and prepared for them should they move toward you.
W. H. TAYLOR,
September 17, 1864.
General J. A. EARLY:
GENERAL: I have been very anxious to recall General Anderson with Kershaw's division to me. But a victory at this time over Sheridan would be greatly advantageous to us, and I feared that your corps would be insufficient for the purpose. General Anderson is more necessary here than in the Valley, and I have written to him to return with his staff if circumstances permit, and to direct General Kershaw with his division to report to you for the present. Should you and he decide that Kershaw's division is unnecessary in the Valley, I wish it to return with General A. It is my intention to send to you Rosser's