of division commanders, who will take immediate steps to carry out its requirements, to wit:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp near Falmouth, Va., December 29, 1862.
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Center Grand Division, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I am directed by the commanding general to request that you be prepared, on twelve hours' notice, to have three days' cooked rations distributed to your command; from six to eight days' small rations and hard bread loaded in the wagons; and 60 rounds of ammunition issued (20 to be carried in the pockets). The ammunition trains are also to be kept in readiness for a move on the above notice being given. A sufficient number of beef-cattle will be kept on hand to last ten days.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNumbers G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff.
By command of Major-General Meade:
A. G. MASON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST KANAWHA DIVISION,
Charleston, W. Va., December 29, 1862.
Major General JACOB D. COX,
Commanding District of Western Virginia, Marietta, Ohio:
GENERAL: In obedience to your request of the 23rd instant, I have the honor to make the following report, viz:
From the corroborating statements of several reliable persons, the enemy in our front are posted as follows: General Echols' command at Princenton and The Narrows of New River; General Williams' command at and near Union, and some 250 infantry and two companies of cavalry stationed at Lewisburg; their whole force amounting to between 3,000 and 5,000. Floyd has gone to Kentucky.
There have been a great many deserters from their army come in, who corroborate these statements.
From what I can learn, I think they only intend guarding the railroad, and have no intention of coming back into this valley, or, at least, not before spring. My opinion is that time nine regiments could hold this valley, and give the citizens all the necessary protection until spring, at least.
I might have stated that, in my opinion, if the regiments that were east last summer were to be ordered there again, a great many of the men would desert, and the efficiency generally of these regiments would be greatly impaired; but to go south or west would meet the approbation of most all.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Washington, December 30, 1862.
General Dix telegraphs that, in order to succeed in his own and Foster's operations, it will be necessary that you occupy and press the enemy, so as to prevent large detachments.
H. W. HALLECK,