is length by obstructing ponds, digging rifle-pits, throwing up intrenchments, and by other artificial means of defense. I consider my position perfectly secure, even with the small force under my command. But there are certain results to be achieved by an aggressive policy, to the successful prosecution of which a small increase of strength is essential. To be brief, if you will furnish me with another regiment of cavalry (I have but one, and that extremely weak) and another strong regiment of infantry, so as to give me an available force of 3,000 men for the field, I will engage, general, to accomplish three things, viz: 1st, to shut the enemy up in Suffolk, and so to threaten the place as to prevent any detachment of troops to the army in North Carolina; 2nd, to intercept communication between Suffolk and the Chowan across the county of Gates, and so compel the enemy to a most circuitous route; 3rd, to realize for our army within the enemy's lines 300,000 pounds of pork and a still larger proportion of corn over and above the wants of my command. It may appear hardly possible to do this with so small a force as I request, but the nature of the country is such as to neutralize disparity of numbers and to make 3,000 men equivalent to twice their number. The cavalry I have is not sufficient to picket my line-300 men scattered along 50-odd miles. A few days ago General French found it necessary to transfer my other cavalry regiment to North Carolina. One regiment of the infantry of my command is detained in Petersburg. Would it not be possible to spare me that?
The suggestions I have hazarded are most respectfully submitted to your superior judgment.
Very respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,
ROGER A. PRYOR,
PETERSBURG, VA., January 14, 1863
General S. COOPER:
General Pryor reports the enemy 6,000 strong at Windsor, near Ivor. Should they try to force the Blackwater the regiment now here could move, but then the guard for city, &c., would have to come from Ransom's brigade; or can two of his regiments move there if needed?
S. G. FRENCH.
JANUARY 14, 1863.
Send the regiment referred to in your dispatch just received; or, if the emergency, in your judgment, should require, the two regiments of Ransom's brigade, as suggested by you.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA.,, January 14, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON:
Your dispatch just received. Advance Ransom and any other available troops in Richmond or Petersburg. See my dispatch of 6th instant
R. E. LEE