HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Centreville, Va., December 14, 1861.
Brigadier General D. H. HILL, Commanding at Leesburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of this date is received. The spades called for will be sent as soon as practicable.
General Johnston and myself are of the opinion that any demonstration (however strong) of the enemy against you will be made to cover an attack against the batteries blockading the Potomac, for they are more interested in relieving themselves from the blockade than in taking possession of Leesburg; and however desirable it is for us to hold the latter, we cannot send your any assistance without having to give up the plan of operations already communicated to you when you were here. You can, however, spread the rumor that we are going to send you the division of E. K. Smith, say 10,000 men, of all arms, in case of any serious demonstration against you, of which purpose you can say it has been order to Gum Spring. But in case you are attacked by overwhelming odds which you would not be able to prevent from crossing the Potomac, your will act as already instructed. Full discretion, however, is allowed you, as we have entire confidence in your judgment.
It is more than probable that, should the enemy intend to cross again the Potomac, he will made a strong demonstration at one point and cross at another. You will then have to determine whether to fight him along the banks of the Potomac, which is he best, is you are sufficiently strong and quick, or in ear of Goose Creek, at the points already indicated to you.
With strong hopes of your success, I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Report of the inspection of Floyd's brigade, near Newbern, va.
RICHMOND, VA., December 14, 1861.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
This brigade is now composed as follows:
Twenty-second, Thirty-Sixth, Forty-fifth, Fiftieth and Fifty-first Regiments Virginia Volunteers.
Twentieth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers.
Thirteenth Regiment Georgia Volunteers.
Phillips' Legion Georgia Volunteers, ten companies, ten companies of infantry and four of horse.
Guy's battery of artillery, four pieces, Virginia.
Adams' battery of artillery, two pieces, Virginia.
Eight Regiment of Cavalry, Virginia.
The aggregate strength of this command present and fir for duty is about 3,500,a nd there are absent, sick in hospital at various places, about 1,500. Of these latter many arriving daily, and in the course of ten days or a fortnight it may be expected that nearly thousand will join their respective regiments. The troops have suffered a great deal of hardship and exposure during the active campaign in Western Virginia, and now feel effect of the measles and its consequences; but the y are evidently improving, and with a little rest they will soon be able to engage in any service which may be required of them. To