War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0855 Chapter XXXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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CINCINNATI, December 14, 1862.

Major General JACOB D. COX:

The withdrawal of troops from Kanawha is left entirely to your judgment, but no force should be kept not absolutely required for defense. They are all wanted in the field. Let me know the moment you think Crook can be safely spared.

WRIGHT,

Major-General, Commanding.

CUMBERLAND, December 14, 1862.

General MILROY,

Petersburg, [W.] Va.:

Your dispatch received. I have sent two regiments to North Mountain Station, 7 miles from Martinsburg, for the purpose of strengthening my force there, protecting the workmen repairing the railroad, and repelling any demonstration of the enemy from Winchester. General Hampton came to Martinsburg day before yesterday with 400 cavalry, but did not remain but a few minutes; returned to Winchester. We will reach Martinsburg by the 18th with the rails. I do not believe there is much force in the valley. If you could send a reliable scout to Strasburg, I think it would be well, with a view of making a movement in that direction as soon as we learn the result at Fredericksburg. Terrific fighting there all day yesterday, and renewed again this morning. Nothing from there this evening.

B. F. KELLEY,

Brigadier-General.

CUMBERLAND, December 14, 1862.

Major BASCOM:

Nothing new. All quiet at North Mountain. Work on the railroad progressing rapidly. Will reach Martinsburg the 18th. General Hampton in Martinsburg yesterday, with 400 rebel cavalry; did not stay but a few minutes; returned toward Winchester. General Milroy occupied Moorefield and Petersburg, I sent a force to occupy Romney yesterday.

B. F. KELLEY,

Brigadier-General.

WASHINGTON, December 15, 1862-3.25 p.m.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

I am using my best exertions to procure civilians to work on wharves and bridges, but they are gathered slowly. General Halleck does not much favor my idea of forming a construction and transportation corps of, say, 500 civilians for our work. He thinks that the engineer troops, who have been enlisted, and receive double pay for this particular duty, should attend to it. If one of the engineer regiments were placed under my orders as a permanent detail, I could get them in time organized, drilled, and made efficient for bridge purposes, provided I could pick them, and get rid of the drones; but civilians would be preferable. If we get possession of the line beyond Fredericksburg, all the bridges should be started at once; they should be reconstructed of sticks cut in the woods, and hauled by oxen. No dependence should be placed on the railroad for transportation of material. I have ordered 200 oxen,