NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 17, 1862.
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Anxious to establish my line at Stafford Court-House and to come into communication with General Slocum, I thought it better to leave this place, and can, therefore, not have the honor to see you again personally. Allow me, general, to transmit to you, by Captain Dahlgren, some matters and a proposition in regard to the reserve division.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding Reserve Division.
1st. That in bringing the whole reserve division to the right, on the Culpeper-Manassas road, it would not only be brought into immediate activity and co-operation, but also move nearer to the main army, and would cover the whole country between Blue Ridge and the Potomac.
2d. It would necessarily divert the enemy's forces, and would give us an opportunity to make successful reconnaissance against the left and rear of the enemy's lines. The reserve would not be scattered, but remain a solid body, dangerously menacing the enemy's lines.
3d. To execute the movement, I would like to have authority to bring forward all available forces from Washington, with a proportionate cavalry force. I would, personally, bring them on with General Slocum's corps.
4th. No answer in regard to Generals Stahel and Schurz.
5th. No disposition in regard to the cavalry which the general has said would join me.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 17, 1862.
General Commanding Confederate Forces near Fredericksburg:
SIR: Your note, by Major Sorrel, assistant adjutant-general, of yesterday has been received. Preparations will be made to receive the prisoners to be delivered at noon near Fredericksburg. The prisoners of your troops who remain in our possession since the passage of the Rappahannock will be delivered to you at the same place at or before the same hour.
The foregoing is communicated by direction of the general commanding.
A portion of the prisoners have been sent to Fortress Monroe.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNumbers G. PARKE,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
BURNSIDE'S HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 17, 1862.
General M. C MEIGS,
I gave orders to the Alexandria depot, last September, to put in store a large quantity of forage while the days were long, the weather mild,