advance, though the manner in which we are stripped of troops from Savannah up must be a great bait for them.
I am in hopes we may hear something more favorable about the Southwest. Pemberton is said to have had over 60,000. What can he be about? * * *
Very truly, yours,
W. H. C. WHITING,
Fredericksburg, May 25, 1863.
General D. H. HILL,
Commanding Department South of James River:
GENERAL: I have received by courier your letter of the 21st. I am much gratified to learn that the enemy has been so harassed and punished during the past months, and wish that your force was sufficient to drive them from the State. If your information is correct that their troops are moving from the State I hope you will be able to spare the brigades belonging to this army. They are very essential to aid in the effort to turn back the tide of war that is now pressing south.
Since the battle of Chancellorsville the enemy has made a lodgment at West Point, the confluence of the Pamunkey and Mattapony Rivers, and are fortifying that neck. Whether it is a feint or preparation for a new base of operations I do not know. I have thought it probable that the troops from your department may be in process of transference to that point. I therefore desire that you direct Brigadier-General Jenkins to join his division (Pickett's) at Hanover Junction, and Brigadier-General Ransom to repair to Richmond. Should it be necessary to move him farther he will receive orders from General Elzey, to whom he will report. You can retain Brigadier-General Cooke for the present, or until you can more fully ascertain the intentions of the enemy, and see what dispositions you can best make for the protection of your department. I think, if necessary, troops may be drawn from South Carolina and Georgia to re-enforce you, as I can hardly suppose that the enemy contemplates any serious invasion of that department this summer. I think, too, the season has passed for making any movement in North Carolina more than raids of devastation or attempts to retain there our troops in idleness. I hope you will be able to frustrate and punish all such efforts.
I am very much in need of cavalry, and if you can spare another regiment, as you suggest, I will be much obliged to you to order it or repair too Orange Court-House and report to General Stuart. I am told there is a regiment on the Blackwater, whose horses are in good condition, which, if you could replace by another, it might be well to send.
If you require General Robertson to command or organize the cavalry in your department I will return him to you.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
NAVAL COMMANDANT'S OFFICE,
Wilmington, N. C., May 25, 1863.
Commanding Military Department, Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I have serious misgivings as to the safety of the gunboat and floating battery building near Scotland Neck, upon the Roanoke.