I hear regularly from Jackson. Quite a large number of recruits and re-enlisted men have joined this division. It now numbers something over 8,000 men, with fourteen pieces of artillery. This does not include the cavalry, amounting to over 500 effective men. The division is increasing very rapidly, and it seems a pity to neutralize this division by the small force in front, compared to what others have on hand. I believe a brigade here would have all the moral effect of the division, and so leave us free for other points. If you prefer that, I shall not attack.
R. S. EWELL,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION,
Rappahannock, April 16, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
SIR: This division numbered on the 12th 6,500 aggregate. Large accessions have been and are coming in, and the strength is now somewhat over 8,000, exclusive of two regiments of cavalry, mounting over 500 men. I have fourteen pieces of artillery.
From the best information I can get there are from 7,000 to 10,000 Federals along the railroad from this side of the Warrenton Junction extended toward Bristoe; their main force about 18 miles from here, this side of Cedar Run.
I believe I could successfully attack these people, the river being now fordable or nearly so.
Blenker's column has crossed the mountain to join Banks, as they said. Geary's command, about 2,000 men, is near Rectortown, on the Manassas Gap Railroad.
From indications I don't think they have any idea of attacking me, their movements seeming to depend on operations in other quarters.
Not knowing to how great a degree my movements here depend on other views, and as the attack could not be made before I hear from the Department, I have thought it best to lay the matter before the Government. I am instructed to co-operate with General Jackson in case of his falling back.
R. S. EWELL,
HEADQUARTERS, April 17, 1862.
Brigadier General C. W. FIELD,
Commanding, &c., Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I am directed by General Lee to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of yesterday, stating that the five gunboats passed down the Rappahannock by Urbana on the day before, and to say that there is now presented a favorable opportunity for obstructing the river at Holmes' Hole, as directed in a letter from these headquarters on the 15th instant.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. TAYLOR,