Richmond, Va. May 27, 1862.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding Army of Northern, Virginia:
GENERAL: I received information from Major-General Holmes a day or two since that two-thirds of the army and navy of the enemy had left New Berne, and, in consideration of this movement, directed him to prepare the same proportion of his army to move in this direction or Wilmington, as the future action of Burnside's force would dictate. By a telegram received last night, however, General Holmes reports eleven steamers at Plymouth and two gunboats removing obstructions at the confluence of the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers, and he has been instructed to regulate the movements of his troops accordingly, and to oppose any advance upon the railroad leading south whenever it may be attempted. Should Burnside appear in James River he will move with corresponding portion of his forces to Petersburg and establish his headquarters at that place.
The First Louisiana Regiment, of General Huger's command, which was at Weldon, has been relieved by a regiment from General Holmes' command, and has arrived at Petersburg. All the troops now at Weldon are from the Department [of] North Carolina, except a battery of artillery, and this will be relieved in a few days, so soon as one of the new batteries in course of preparation at Petersburg is ready for the field service. The line of railroad from Wilmington to and beyond Weldon to Petersburg will then be considered under the charge of General Holmes, and General Huger's army can be devoted to the protection of the batteries on the south side of James River and to resist any advance the enemy may make from City Point, or be thrown across to the north side to take part in the battle impending in your front, as you may see fit to direct.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE APPOMATTOX,
Drewry's Farm, Va., May 27, 1862.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding:
GENERAL: I inclose herewith a copy of letter received this day from General J. G. Walker, and as Petersburg is within my department I received his report and directed him to await further orders. If you have any instructions concerning this brigade I request that you will inform me.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Richmond, Va., May 27, 1862.
Respectfully referred for information of General Johnston, as advised on yesterday, May 27.
General Holmes has been directed to regulate his movements by those of Burnside's army, and should it be ascertained that its destina-