RICHMOND, December 3, 1861.
General W. W. LORING, Staunton, Va:
Your letter of the 29th ultimo* received this morning. Contents approved. Act as therein indicated. I will send copy of your letter to Winchester.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
JACKSON'S RIVER, December 3, 1861.
General S. COOPER:
Your dispatch to General Donelson and Colonel Starke and Colonel J. Luscious Davis were received last night, and were forwarded by express to their destinations. I have been informed that General Donelson's command if is now on the march to General Floyd, at Peterson.
J. G. PAXTON,
HEADQUARTERS, CENTREVILLE, December 3, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond:
DEAR SIR: Since the latter from the general herewith was sent to my office for transmission, a secret agent was sent to Washington, and a trusty citizens of Maryland has returned with the some notes from friends, copies of which I inclose. As you will perceive, our friends insist there will be an advance this season. The Nashville has reached Southampton. Green and Powell are in Washington to take their seats. The returned agent says some ladies of Baltimore say that there is a female spy in Richmond under the assumed name of Mademoiselle Lina, who gives concerts. I have not noticed whether there is such a person, but thought I would mention the matter. This army is in admirable spirit and morale. Nothing, indeed, could be better than their mood at present. I will the message as soon as it reaches me. Shall I telegraphed any of its salient positions? It the department needs any books or reference from the North, I can get them without difficulty by our agent.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
NOVEMBER 25, 1861.
This is from undoubted source-a secret agent of theirs. The plan is to affect to go into winter quarters, but extensive and active preparations are going on, making pontoons, collecting provision, making preparations for building batteries as they preceded. The army is to be divided into fire division: Hooder below; McCall, McDowell and McClellan in the center, and Banks above. When all is ready a simultaneous movement is to be made by divisions, and a desperate attack is to be made on the part of Banks and Hooker at each side to outflank and get behind the Confederate Army and fortifications, while the tree central push on, fortifying as they go. This move is to be a desperate one, and every effort made to secure success. the expression used was that they would be in Richmond before two weeks.
* See inclosure to Benjamin to Jackson, December 6, p. 983.