Cincinnati, Ohio, January 4, 1863-9.05 p.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
My own judgment has been that about 6,000 men could hold the Kanawha Valley during the winter; but General Cox, to whom, I have referred the question, expresses positively the opinion that nearly or quite as great a force as is now there is needed, and that only some pressing exigency would justify the withdrawal of any. His personal knowledge of the country makes his opinion the more important, and I have decided, therefore, to await your instructions before giving orders on the subject. I have no other troops to send. What few I could spare are being sent to General Rosecrans.
H. G. WRIGHT,
DUMFRIES, January 4, 1863.
General Stahel's scouts arrived from the direction of Brentsville. The force there was only a temporary one, and the emergency is not so great as was supposed.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
January 5, 1863.
HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
Since my return to the army I have become more than ever convinced that the general officers of this command are almost unaminously opposed to another crossing of the river, but I am still of the opinion that the crossing should be attempted, and I have accordingly issued orders to the engineers and artillery to prepare for it. There is much hazard in it, as there always is in the majority of military movements, and I cannot begin the movement without giving you notice of it, particularly as I know so little of the effect that if may have upon other movements of distant armies.
The influence of your telegram the other day is still upon me, and has impressed me with the idea that there are many parts of the problem which influence you that are not known to me.
In order to relieve you from all embarrassment in my case, I inclose, with this, my resignation of my commission as major-general of volunteers, which you can have accepted, if my movement is not in accordance with the views of yourself and your military advisers.
I have taken the liberty to write to you personally upon this subject, because it was necessary,as I learn from General Halleck, for you to approve of my general plan, written at Warrenton, before I could commence the movement, and I think it quite as necessary that you should know of the important movement I am about to make, particularly as it will have to be made in opposition to the views of nearly all my general officers,and after the receipt of a dispatch from you informing me of the opinion of some of them who had visited you.