and the other to the east, under Elzey, we will have a sufficient out-guard, and for the present I will leave Pickett and Pettigrew at the Junction. If I am able to move I propose to do so cautiously, watching the result, and not to get beyond recall until I find it safe.
If a brigade of cavalry under a good officer could be placed north and east of the city to repress the marauding expeditions of the enemy and prevent reconnaissances, I should feel it was safe. In case of emergency I think General Hill's troops could be brought up from North Carolina and be replaced there by some from General Beauregard.
I still hope that General Johnston will be able to demolish Grant, and that our command of the Mississippi may be preserved. The enemy may be drawing to the Yazoo for the purpose of reaching their transports and retiring from the contest, which I hope is the case. General Kirby Smith ought, if possible, to collect a sufficient force and occupy Helena or some better point on the west bank of the river.
As far as I can ascertain the enemy seems to be quiet in Western Virginia and the troops of General Sam. Jones are idle. They could also be brought to Richmond or to Eastern Virginia if occasion require it.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
GREENVILLE, N. C., Tuesday, June 2, 1863-a. m.
Major-General HILL, Petersburg:
GENERAL: I received this morning yours of the 31st. Colonel Griffin is now in Bertie looking after his picket posts. I will send for him at once and hope to have him ready to march promptly. Please recollect that this will leave me entirely without cavalry.
No negro laborers have yet reported. A company of the Seventeenth is still out for deserters. Would it not be better to return Captain MacRae to the camp of instruction, to be used for this purpose, and the company of the Seventeenth take his place at Weldon?
There have been a good many desertions from the Forty-second. The deserters of that regiment to be shot are here. Shall I send to Richmond to the penitentiary the men so sentenced or to Fort Caswell? I think I could manage the Conscript Bureau, but I did not report myself incapable of field service. I can and am willing to stand the increased suffering if it is necessary and whenever necessary.
Very truly, yours,
J. G. MARTIN,
GREENVILLE, June 2, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and N. Carolina, Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 29th of May came here to-day by the mail about 2 o'clock. I have persons employed trying to get information of the enemy's force and movements in and about Washington and Plymouth. As yet no decided success has resulted.
The horses taken by Griffin and Claiborne were ordered to be returned some days since. I have not heard how many, if any, they now have. I think, however, I can make the arrangement you suggest about using infantry as couriers, &c., in place of Griffin's men.
Colonel Griffin has been spoken to once about answering your letter;
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