HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, December 12, 1862.
Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
Commanding,&c., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 10th instant.* The disposition of the troops that you stated appears to be judicious, and, as the enemy cannot attack all points at one time, from many of the points mentioned the troops could be concentrated upon the where an assault should be made. As regards Wilmington, troops from South Carolina could be thrown there upon an emergency, and recalled to their position when no longer required. But I have been in hopes that North Carolina would turn out all the troops within her borders at this time,a nd which could operate to such advantage on her frontier. I think that if you will write to General Martin, he will make an effort to have this done.
I wrote to the honorable Secretary of War some days since that the Confederate troops in Western Virginia could, I thought, be drawn to Staunton, whence they could be used in the vicinity of Richmond, if not wanted in the Senandoah Valley. I have heard of Milory's retiring in the direction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, of the troops that had been at New Creek moving down to Martinsburg, and of Slocum's division left Harper's Ferry for Washington. Our scouts reported yesterday some transports having arrived at Aquia Creek, probably with these troops. I have had no confirmation of the report that Cox's division had left the Kanawha Valley. I am glad that you have ascertained that the force in the vicinity of Suffolk is not so large as formerly reported. You will have heard that the enemy succeeded last evening in occupying Fredericksburg. We hold the hills around the town; I shall try and do them all the damage in our power when they move forward. I believe General Burnside's whole army is at this point.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
DECEMBER 12, 1862.
General THOMAS J. JACKSON:
GENERAL: Smith reached here before the couriers, or a little past 3.30 p.m. We cannot move till 4 o'clock. Shall I go on all night?
D. H. HILL,
[DECEMBER 12, 1862?]-7.50 p.m.
General D. H. HILL:
GENERAL: You had better encamp for the night, and start at dawn
to-morrow morning, and move to Hamilton's Crossing. The enemy has been moving down the river on this side to-day, and halted nearly opposite Hamilton's Crossing. There is reason to believe that the real attack will be made on our right, and not at Fredericksburg.
T. J. JACKSON,