Major-General ELZEY, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: My infantry and artillery have reached here within this hour. I delayed to get long forage, which is very scarce in this section, and have effected much good in assisting the citizens of Williamsburg in removing their persons and effects from the reach of the enemy. The Yankee rascals tried to throw the hospital on my hands to embarrass and pump me as to purpose of permanent occupation. I declined to have anything to do with it, and they retired their superintendent, nurses, &c. I then gave it up the State civil authorities, who, by my counsel, obtained from the ten days' provisions without compromising our dignity or claiming from them any protection. I will send to Governor Letcher, through you, copies of all the correspondence as soon as I return to Chaffin's Bluff. You may assure the Governor that the patients will not suffer, as I know they will take charge of the asylum again now that I have retired. I could not draw them out of their intrenchments. They made no move, and I left all quiet, through they were in the last two or three days considerably re-enforced. I have picketed the cavalry in two lines-as inner and outer line, the latter running across from the Chickahominy to James River Church, below Centreville; thence to Centreville; thence to Six Mile Ordinary, and to a folk in the Telegraph road below; thence to the crossroads at Deneufville's stone; thence to Austin's store; thence to Albert Hankins', on the York River; the inner line running from Bush's Mill to Mrs. Piggott's gate; thence to Garrett's gate; thence to Richardson's lane, and thence to Mount Folly, on the York River. Established a depot for forage and Colonel Shingler's headquarters at Hickory Neck Academy, extending the quarters thence to Burnt Ordinary and Olive Branch Church.
Before I leave for Chaffin's I will move the cavalry headquarters up to Barhamsville and draw in the pickets across from Albert Hankins', on Your River, west bank of Scimmino Creek, to Whitaker's mill, and thence across to Bush's Mill and the Chickahominy.
Rodgers' cavalry have scarcely any men besides couriers for duty, from desertion to the enemy. They cannot be trusted for any duty, and Doby's and Hawley's companies barely supply their places in number, and the necessity for Hawley here leaves the Chickahominy with our pickets on the Charles City side. I beg you to take the Holcombe Legion and Robertson's battalion away and to restore to me my old regiment of cavalry, which I raised and mustered (the Tenth Virginia Cavalry), with one company (the James City Cavalry, belonging to the Fifth Virginia Cavalry) added. Thus I could have good men, familiar with the paths of James City, York, Charles City, New Kent City, New Kent, and Henrico. The present strangers to our roads need guides to every post. I have saved the records of York, Warwick, and Elizabeth City Counties and forwarded them to you to be handed over to Governor Letcher for safe-keeping. It is important I should know how long I am to remain here, as, if long, my men must sent for changes of clothing. I await your orders, and am, very your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,