HEADQUARTERS CAMP FREDERICKSBURG,
February 16, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I informed you on the 14th that General Pickett's division was on the march to Richmond. It is directed to halt on the Chickahominy, where it can find shelter in woods and procure from Richmond provisions and forage.
General Pickett will send forward an officer to select a position and make arrangements. Will you be kind enough to afford him the necessary facilities? Should circumstances require him to be further advanced, I must request you to give him orders. He can take position below Richmond on the right or left bank of the river as you may designated.
Upon the reception last night of your dispatch of yesterday I directed Hood's division to move to Hanover Junction. It will halt there unless required to advance.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
YADKINVILLE, N. C., February 16, .
DEAR SIR: It is my painful duty to inform you of a most melancholy affair which occurred in this county on last Thursday. I sent out a squad of 14 men in search of conscripts. They found a number of them (now supposed to be between 20 and 30) lodged in a school-house and attacked them. The conscripts were well armed and resisted most stubbornly. They shot through cracks and windows at our men, and killed tow of the best citizens of this county - James West, a magistrate, and John Williams, a most excellent man. these men were shot dead in their tracks. Two of the conscripts were killed and the balance escaped, though two of them are seriously wounded. The conscripts known to have been in it and who have escaped are William Dobbins, Jesse Dobbins, Benjamin Willard, Lee Willard, Thomas Adams, Enoch Brown, Jack Douglas, Anderson Douglas, Sanford Douglas, Hugh Sprinkle, and Horace Allgood, though we have since captured the Douglases and Hugh Sprinkle and lodged them in jail. The four first named are the leaders of the band; and I am informed that they will probably try to make their way to Tennessee. I leave it to Your Excellency whether or not a sufficient reward shall be offered for these four bad and dangerous men to insure their apprehension. Robert Hutchins, William Willard, James Wooten, Elkana Willard, and others are believed to have been in it. If a reward had no other effect it would I think deter others from resisting the execution of the law, seeing that the Governor of the State had taken the matter in hand. If they do not leave the county they will rally their crowd (as I understand some for them are trying to do) and fight again. They are much better armed than the militia, having been preparing for it for months. We have arrested and sent out of this county within three months past over 100 men, and yet we have a considerable number left. Inasmuch as we have scarcely any arms or ammunition I would suggest that Your