I am expecting here, on the 23rd instant, William M. Wadley, of Georgia, who will be places in charge of railroad transportation. from his experience and success in the management of railroads, I anticipate great benefit to our railroad and to the army.
In addition to the provisions already made by numerous contracts for clothing, shoes, and ordnance stores, I am about dispatching an experienced agent to Texas with large funds for the purpose of introducing such things through Mexico more extensively than has been done heretofore, and in the mean while I will get what I can by purchase and impressment in the Confederacy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
November 14, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: The enemy has made no movement of important since my last report. His main army seems to be disposed along the base of the Blue Ridge and west of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, extending form Gainesville to Warrenton. His cavalry is advanced to the Rappahannock. Detachments of General Jackson's command have been pushed through the gaps of the Blue Ridge as far eastward as they could penetrate without serious obstruction, which have served to embarrass and produce hesitation in a forward movement of the enemy. In the skirmishes consequent upon these operations more than 300 prisoners have been captured and other damage inflicted. By the last accounts, the enemy's troops had withdrawn form the mountains beyond Bull Run range.
In the skirmish yesterday on the Rappahannock line, about 30 prisoners were taken and some few horses and arms. We lost 4 horses on our side, but no men.
The enemy is reported to have abandoned the upper part of Fauquier County, having taken from the inhabitants everything within their reach, and burned the stacks of wheat in the fields. I thought it probable that he would change his line of approach to Richmond and make a sudden descent upon Fredericksburg, from which point his line of communication with Washington would be comparatively safe. I have ordered the railroad form Fredericksburg to Aquia Creek to be entirely destroyed; the bridges, culverts, &c., to be broken; the cross-ties piles and fired, with the rails piled on top, so as to prevent their future use. I think it would be prudent to break up the road from Fredericksburg back to Hanover Junction in the same way, and the Orange and Alexandria road form the Rappahannock to Gordonsville. As the necessity is not now certain, and the loss and inconvenience to the community that would ensue apparent, I hesitate to commence it, but suggest its execution to the consideration of the Department. I am loath to add to the devastation of the country which has already occurred by the ravages of war, and yet think it prudent to throw every impediment to the progress of the enemy toward Richmond in his way. Were I certain of the route he will pursue, I should commence immediately to make it as difficult as possible. The wagon road from Gordonsville to Richmond should be put in as god condition as possible for the use of this army,