be cut and possibly Wilmington be taken. The removal of Ransom I regard as hazardous at this time unless you move soon. I go on to-day to Petersburg to be provost-marshal there.
As soon as I know where Brigadier-General Jenkins is I will order him to join General Pickett.
With great respect,
D. H. HILL,
P. S.-I have sent you about 9,500 on paper, possibly 8,000 effectives, if the partisan cavalry can be called effectives. I have received in return about 1,500 effective men, really good and true.
I am much obliged to you for the offer of Brigadier-General Robertson, but he has been once in this department.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 28, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding, &c., Kinston, N. C.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 25th instant is received. I regret to hear of the occurrence reported by you, and fear that the regiment allowed itself to be surprised. I am gratified, however, that you drove the enemy back so promptly to his intrenchments and did all in your power to retrieve the disaster.
With reference to the Federal force in North Carolina, I have observed that the department has been divided into three districts, a list of which, with the names of the commanders, I inclose. The name of General Foster is not mentioned. He may still command the department or he may have been withdrawn. I am at a loss to account for the troops that have appeared at West Point, unless they came from North Carolina; I do not think they were taken from the Army of the Potomac. All the information received indicates that none have gone down the Potomac. On the contrary, troops have been reported coming up the river, and Hooker has received re-enforcements since the late battles. I supposed that the troops at West Point might have come from North Carolina and that General Foster may be in command or that he will be. The division of the department into districts would indicate that active operations on an extensive scale were not contemplated, but rather the occupancy of the country.
I think your view with regard to the letters correct, and that the writers addressed them to their correspondents in ignorance of their having left North Carolina, a fact that would of course be withheld as long as possible from the knowledge of the public.
My letter of the 25th instant will have already apprised you that I desire Jenkins to be ordered to rejoin his division at once at Hanover Junction, and Ransom to proceed to Richmond, where he will receive further orders through General Elzey, if it be necessary. The same letter will have advised you that you can retain General Cooke for the present, until you have better ascertained the enemy's intentions and made the best provision for the defense of your department.
When General Longstreet left the south side of the James a considerable amount of transportation remained, from which Colonel Corley has directed Colquitt's brigade to be supplied. I thought this better than to send the transportation he left here, as the distance is great.