War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0748 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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original positions. A good deal of time has elapsed in preparing, and I am satisfied that the enemy are well informed of our intentions and that they are prepared. Besides, the indications are that they would avail themselves of any advantage they might gain and follow us up. They have reoccupied Williamsburg in force and are extending their lines again in this direction from that point. An attempt was made last night to burn the bridges over the river here. It is not wise at this time to bring on a doubtful conflict so far from our lines and so close to their strongholds. Unless you are certain of great advantages suspend your operations and let the greater part of the troops resume their former positions.

Respectfully and truly, yours,

G. W. SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Richmond, Va., September 18, 1862.

Major General S. G. FRENCH:

Your letter of yesterday is received. If you are not entirely satisfied that you have ample means for accomplishing the object promptly and successfully you had better suspend the movement. I have already furnished you more than could well be spared. There are indications that the enemy has notice of our intentions and is prepared to meet us, and also to take advantage of the fact that the troops are absent from the defenses of this city.

G. W. SMITH,

Major-General, Commanding.

GENERAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 69.

Richmond, Va., September 19, 1862.

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III. Hereafter the command of Major General G. W. Smith will embrace that part of the country lying south of the line of operations under General R. E. Lee, including the Department of North Carolina. All commanders within these geographical limits will report to and receive their orders from Major-General Smith.

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By order:

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

SEPTEMBER 19, 1862.

I have information from Suffolk as late as Wednesday afternoon. The force is two full regiments and three skeleton regiments of infantry numbering 3,800, 1,900 cavalry, and six pieces of artillery. The Yankee merchants are packing up their goods preparatory to a move. Yankee cavalry to the number of 140 now encamped in 5 miles of us to watch our movements. The bridge complete.

D. D. FEREBEE,

Colonel, Commanding.