in believing that A. P. Hill, with his division of the rebel army, is not in the valley. He has heard, and believes that the information may be considered in some degree reliable, that when Lee detaches a force for the valley it will be Ewell's division, now under the command of Early, Ewell himself being wounded. He thinks, however, that there is probably, at this time, no considerable force of the enemy's at Staunton, or, perhaps, anywhere in the valley, above or below. If a large detachment be not sent from Lee's army, it is probable that whatever is at Staunton may be kept in check by apprehension of Cox from the west.
The general has just been assured, by a party who has had recent communication with the valley, that the rebel General Jones attaches the strongest importance to cavalry, and that his 2,500 men consist, in fact, not of that number of infantry, but only about 800 infantry and 1,700 cavalry. Do you suppose this can be so? We are apt to overestimate the number of the enemy's forces.
Besides the six companies of the Sixth Regiment New York Artillery sent you last, making that regiment with you now complete, there cannot be spared to you at any time more than one regiment of infantry from here, and one battery. They will not be sent now to General Milroy, as you suggest, but reserved to re-enforce you or him in some actual emergency.
As to holding Winchester, the General-in-Chief, at Washington, has indicated the policy to be pursued. It will be, in case of an attack by the enemy in great force, not to send re-enforcements from Harper's Ferry, but to fall back and concentrate at the Ferry.
The general commanding, however, does not wish it to be understood that resistance at Winchester is to be given up, except it should ever become necessary to yield to an overwhelming force.
In pursuance of his policy for covering and protecting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad by a chain of advanced posts, he does not propose to depend upon keeping up, with the limited force he has, such points as Petersburg and Moorefield, but to rely rather upon the line of positions across from New Creek, Romney, Winchester,and Leesburg. He hopes that General Heintzelman will be directed to take care of Leesburg as a part of this system.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. CHESEBROUGH,
HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES OF THE UPPER POTOMAC,
Harper's Ferry, January 7, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Baltimore, Md.:
COLONEL: The communication of the major-general commanding, asking for memoranda relating to the reorganization of my command., was received. I inclose herewith a list of the regiments, &c., serving on line of road, which may assist in such reorganization.
My view would be to organize the forces on the road into, say, two divisions, each composed of two or more brigades, the troops at Harper's Ferry to compose one division and those at Martinsburg and points west another. This second division would be almost the same as my old command in point of territory, and embraces all the troops formerly under my immediate control. This division was composed of