Southern army, in which case he will leave Winchester and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad open, or he will remain where he is, and we can the destroy a line of communication and a depot of supplies much more important than the dangers occasioned by his position at Winchester.
Now, Staunton and the railroad can be threatened as follows: First, by reuniting our whole force at Beverly; second, from that point to march upon Warm Springs and fall upon the troops there, or, according to circumstances, pass over to the east of that place and fall suddenly upon Staunton, and destroy the railroad bridges between that place and Charlottesville; but this is a plan that only can be matured on the spot; third, a strong detachment of troops, under General Cox, should make a demonstration against Lewisburg, threatening the railroad of the south.
In all probability, if the demonstration is well made, the rebels at Warm Springs will unite with those at Lewisburg, and we can profit rapidly of that movement by falling upon Staunton. If, on the contrary, the troops at Lewisburg are left to themselves, we can each move separately, as we are much stronger, and thus open a double way to Staunton and the railroad to the south. For the execution of this plan we need 1,000 cavalry, or a full regiment, which must be had, if only temporarily.
G. P. CLUSERET,
November 21, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army:
SIR: I transmit herewith a note* just received from the Quartermaster-General, and request to be informed if you desire the Navy to open the Rappahannock River to Fredericksburg. Also whether the heights below Fredericksburg are occupied by our troops. Be pleased to return the inclosed note with your reply.
G. V. FOX.
WASHINGTON, November 21, 1862.
Assistant Secretary FOX, Navy Department:
SIR: Your note of this morning is received. It is desirable that the Rappahannock should be opened as early as possible for quartermasters' vessels, for the supply of the army of Fredericksburg. I will notify you as soon as the heights below that town are occupied by our forces. I return General Meigs' letter herewith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,