HEADQUARTERS, April 12, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I have received this morning a report from Colonel Mosby, dated 4 a.m., 11th instant. He had just returned from a scout in Fairfax, and reiterates the opinion that no re-enforcements have been given to the Army of the Potomac, but that the enemy is attempting to impress the idea upon our citizens that it has been largely increased. He says the trains of last week carried down infantry and artillery, and that a large number of wagons went down on the cars. He further states that the troops from the West, as well as those from Meade, have gone to Annapolis; that a large portion of the troops from the defenses around Washington have been removed and the Invalid Corps substituted and negro troops sent to the valley. I do not know how he got this information, except from citizens, and the first part conflicts with information, from special scouts, who must have obtained it by observation. A report from Channing Smith, of the 10th, states that the sutlers, traders, and all persons not connected with the Army of the Potomac are ordered to leave. All extra baggage, &c., has been ordered to Washington. The wagons reported by Mosby may have been surplus, broken, &c,. sent back. C. Smith repeats the report that the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps have been ordered to Meade and are daily expected. I see an order published in the Washington Chronicle of the 8th that the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps have been consolidated into the Twentieth, under General Hooker, and that Major General P. H. Sheridan, has been assigned to the command of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. Reports from the valley state that the enemy have left Halltown and are leaving Harper's Ferry; they do not now allow produce to be brought within their lines; that the Eleventh New York Cavalry has left that district, and that Martinsburg and Cumberland are garrisoned by negroes. Captain Calmese attacked about 150 of the enemy in Winchester on the 8th; drove them to Stephenson's Depot, capturing 30 prisoners of the Sixth [West] Virginia Cavalry, 28 horses, equipments, arms, &c., some provisions. No loss on our part. Scouts on the Potomac report that ten steamers with troops, estimated about two brigades, passed up the river on the 9th. They may be merely sick, &c. If they are preparing armed transports and launches for disembarking troops I think they can only be intended for the James River. I see no other place where they would be required. We should be prepared in that quarter. A landing may be intended at City Point to capture Drewry's Bluff. I think it probable that at the appointed time operations at Charleston will be suspended and certain troops and iron-clads be transferred to James River, as I see it stated in the Northern papers that General Gillmore has been assigned a part in the proposed campaign in Virginia.
I am, with, great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
April 12, 1864
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to call your attention to the importance of making the best preparation in our power to meet any possible con-