War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0948 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 31, 1862-1 p. m.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

GENERAL: I received last night a telegram from General D. H. Hill, and have just received two telegrams from General J. G. Walker. Copies of the three are sent herewith. General Lee's troops cannot well receive specific instructions from here. Unless you direct differently I shall telegraph General Walker to "communicate with General Lee, and in emergency use your own judgement. Keep us inform of such movements."

General French informs me that Chambliss' cavalry was to start this morning and that the three infantry regiments would be sent forward as soon as possible. I have sent an officer and 6 men of Critcher's battalion on a special scout toward Fredericksburg.

General Hill says there ought to be a force at Hanover junction. When there himself he was crazy to get to the front before being ordered by General Lee. We all know that it is desirable to have troops at Hanover Junction and at other important points, but where they are to come from is the question.

Please answer by messenger in regard to the telegram I propose to send General Walker, and oblige, yours, very respectfully.



P. S.-What are the orders about forwarding unarmed conscripts?

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]


Via Rapidan, Va., August 30, 1862.


The bridge at Rapidan ought to be repaired immediately or transportation should be furnished from Richmond. A force ought to guard Hanover Junction.



[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

RAPIDAN, VA., August 31, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH:

I have just received information from Major General D. H. Hill that McClellan is extending his force in this direction. In the event of my division marching from here there will be no protection to this depot.



[Inclosure Numbers 3.]

RAPIDAN, VA., August 31, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH:

Major General D. H. Hill left here with his division yesterday morning, and directed me to wait here until my transportation should reach me. Only a portion of it has come up. Upon my arrival I sent to General Lee for instructions, but can hear nothing from him, and I am in total ignorance of his whereabouts and the relative position of the