matter as a reason for pushing forward, with as little deadly as possible, the final completion of the new State organization, whilst the force in Western Virginia is large enough to prevent hostile interference, and to give a feeling of entire security in all counties at present within our lines.
I shall be most anxious to give every co-operation possible in bringing that business to a successful and satisfactory conclusion, and you may rely upon me to take such disposition of my troops as will most thoroughly favor such a result. The more speedily the final action is taken the more able I shall be to give the military aid which may be desired to preserve inviolate the freedom of the people to act in the premises.
Hoping you will communicate fully and freely any matter which may, in your judgment, demand my attention, I remain, Governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 16, 1862.
General M. C. MEIGS,
The army is withdrawn to the left bank of the Rappahannock. The attempt to break the rebels lines opposite was terribly daring and bloody, but was not very successful. The army is safe, and I trust we can still move on, but the delay will afford opportunity to complete our equipment of trains. Our animals are in good condition. This army had never been delayed on account of neglect or lack of proper preparation on the part of the quartermaster's department. It is always prepared. If the engagement had resulted in our favor, as I had hoped, our department was fully prepared for instant movement forward.
U. S. STEAMER YANKEE,
Off Oaken Brow, Va., December 16, 1862.
General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding the Army, &c.:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I had the pleasure last evening of inclosing a copy of my notification to the authorities at Port Royal, and also a copy of Lieutenant-Colonel McGruder's reply.
We were all ready this morning, and some of the vessels under way to go to the town, when your message came that you were recrossing the Rappahannock, and that both Colonel Davis and myself must be governed accordingly.
As we heard no firing above, and as all the effect of our feint had been produced as far as a diversion of troops was concerned, I deemed the destruction of the town at present unnecessary, and I therefore decided not to attack it. We are now lying as before, within twenty minutes' steaming of Port Royal, and awaiting further instructions from you.
I am, your obedient servant,