War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0883 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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designs withdrawing from the Rappahannock and changing his whole plan. He seemed fully committed to an advance on the Rappahannock, but, very fully trusted by his Republican or Abolition "confreres," he can venture to advance and do what Burnside could not. We must, however, await developments, for as yet information is too scant for confident judgment.

With great esteem, truly, yours,


Secretary of War.

GREENVILLE, N. C., Tuesday, [February] 17, 1863.

Major General D. H. HILL:

I did not receive the letter to which you refer in your note of to-day, but I got the information about the re-enforcements from Whitford's men. I start to-morrow and will proceed across Tranter's Creek; shall move around in front of Washington so as to threaten the Plymouth road. This may prevent re-enforcements going out of Washington. But the danger is that if I am attacked in front of Washington Garnett cannot possibly come to my assistance nor can I to his if he is attacked from Plymouth, so that we are in very bad military position, each liable to be attacked separately. An immense swamp will be between us; to march to him I must either go down the Plymouth road and abandon my line of communication, which is utterly out of the question in this country, or pass around behind this swamp, probably a three-days' journey. I will take my position without much apprehension from the enemy, but I think he had better withdraw himself before any danger on his left flank and rear. I fear they will bounce out upon Kinston some day when we are all off and handle Daniel roughly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




February 18, 1863.

Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET,

Commanding Corps:

GENERAL: The transfer of a portion of the Federal Army of the Potomac to Hampton roads has rendered it necessary to move two divisions of your corps towards James River. I desire you to join them and place them in position where their comfort will be secured and whence they can be readily moved to resist an advance upon Richmond by the enemy from his new base. It is reported that he has been largely re-enforced at Suffolk. It will therefore be prudent for you to change the present order for General Pickett to halt on the Chickahominy, and to let him proceed to Falling Creek, on the south side of James River, or to some better point, from which you can readily defend Petersburg, &c. Should the movement of the enemy from the Potomac render it expedient your other divisions will be ordered to join you. I desire therefore you be prepared to receive them and to select encampments for their comfortable accommodation. You will be advised of their approach. I need not remind you of the importance of selecting sheltered positions, where there is plenty of wood, and which may be convenient to supplies. It is also desirable that these positions be, as far as possible, not liable to prove injurious to the