CHARLESTON, S. C., January 3, 1863.
Brigadier General H. W. MERCER, Savannah, Ga.:
Harrison's brigade will be delayed for a time at Wilmington. Please send to it cooking utensils and change of clothing.
Chief of Staff.
CHARLESTON, S. C., January 3, 1863
Adjutant and Inspector General, Savannah, Ga.:
Five Whitworth 12-pounder guns have lately arrived at Wilmington. Cannot two be sent here and two to Savannah for Genesis Point? They are much required to drive off blockaders.
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
RICHMOND, VA., January 3, 1863.
General G. T. BEAUREGARD,
Charleston, S. C.:
The guns have been already disposed of by the Secretary of War-one retained at Wilmington one sent to Charleston, one to Mobile and one to Vicksburg. The fifth belongs to the Navy Department.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 3, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I replied by telegraph to your dispatches of the 1st and 2nd, but as the line does not seem to be in operation I think proper to write by mail to-day. It is very important to ascertain the correctness of the information conveyed in your dispatches, and if transports are in Hampton Roads their purpose and cargoes. It is customary at this season of the year for coasters to take refuge in those waters from impending or apprehended storms. I have myself counted over one hundred vessels that had taken shelter there at one time. I can discover no indications of any movement of General Burnside's army, and feel very confident that the transports mentioned did not descend the Potomac, not do I think any considerable portion of General Burnside's army could have been embarked without my knowledge. I have scouts on the right and left flanks of the enemy, which extend to the Potomac, and receive information of all movements of importance. On the 31st ultimo I dispatched General Stuart with a large detachment of cavalry to penetrate the rear of the enemy, with a view of ascertaining his position and purpose. He followed his line of communication from Dumfries to the Little River turnpike, passing between Fairfax Court-House and Alexandria, returning through Aldie and Warrenton. He reports all quiet and could learn nothing of any projected operation. In addition to obtaining information my object was to create anxiety for his communications and cause him, if possible, to discover his intentions. He threw out large bodies of troops in the direction of the Orange and
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