The squadron of cavalry ordered to follow in your rear from Paris had its order modified by General Jackson, so as to keep in view of the enemy as long as consistent with safety. This accounts for its not following on with your rear guard. I will keep you informed of movements in your front. I am anxious to establish signal communication with you and with General Jackson. I left General Jackson this morning.
J. E. B. STUART,
HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., November 5, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia, Culpeper Court-House, Va.;
GENERAL: I received at noon to-day a letter* from General French, copy of which is inclosed. After consultation with the Secretary of War, I sent you a telegram,* copy of which is sent herewith. It seems that General French had attempted, with two regiments and some cavalry and artillery, to cover the withdrawal of supplies and negroes from the Coast District, and, when they were threatened by the enemy, endeavored to support them. This took most of his force from Petersburg.
I received, at 6 o'clock this afternoon, a telegram,* copy inclosed. Handed it to the Secretary of War, who directed me to send you a dispatch asking you to send a brigade through to Weldon. Daniel's brigade cannot be sent away from Drewry's Bluff to Weldon. Wise's brigade is very small, and not sufficient to guard the batteries at Chaffin's Bluff. The only available force to
re-enforce either of these points, or the heavy batteries around the city, is the brigade of Davis. So far from having of this city against a sudden attack by way of James River at least a division in addition to the force now here.
I send herewith copy of my telegram* to you, and of that to General French* of 7 o'clock this evening. I hope that General French will be enabled to place his forces between the enemy and Weldon and Petersburg, in case they advance before they can reach those points. He is trusting largely to their inactivity and want of enterprise, and, I think, too much so, but cannot form a very definite opinion without more accurate information, which will, no doubt, be contained in his letter referred to in the dispatch.
I request that you will direct the companies of the Sixty-first Virginia, on guard duty at Stuanton, Warrenton, Culpeper, Rappahannock, and other points in that vicinity, to be relieved, and send the regiment, as soon as practicable, to this city. The Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry (Colonel [J. R.] Chambliss [jr.]) was recruited almost entirely south of James River, and mostly between Petersburg and the coast. The Secretary of War suggests that this regiment be ordered here for service in that section. They are very much needed, and were only sent to their present position to protect the line of communications. I hope that you will order both of the regiments named above, viz, the Sixty-first Virginia and the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, to report here for duty as soon as practicable.
The two North Carolina regiments of Davis' brigade are the Fifty-fourth (Colonel J. C. S. McDowell) and the Fifty-seventh (Colonel A. C. Godwin).