CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
April 10, 1863.
GEORGE H. STUART, Esq.,
Chairman U. S. Christian Commission, Philadelphia, Pa.:
Major-General Hooker directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th ultimo, asking that, in the event of a forward movement of this army, the delegates of the Christian Commission serving with it may be furnished with certain facilities to enable them to accompany the troops, and, in reply, I am directed to state that while the major-general commanding fully appreciates the benevolent spirit which has brought here the gentlemen of your commission who are with us, and is sensible of the valuable services they render, as well as of the good they do, he regrets that he cannot give you any assurance that when the army is actually on the move it will be in his power to provide your delegates with anything in the way of means of transportation or of supplies. The army will, without doubt, on such an occasion absolutely need all its resources. I am directed to add that the major-general commanding will at all times be very happy to provide your delegates with any assistance in the discharge of their noble mission to this army that the state of the military service will justify.
Very respectfully, &c.,
HDQRS. FIRST CAVALRY DIV., ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
April 10, 1863.
P. H. WATSON, Esq.,
Assistant Secretary of War:
MY DEAR SIR: Mr. G. S. Smith, whom you sent down to me, has made his report, and his explanations are consistent, and appear satisfactory. I have sent him to General Hooker's headquarters, and submitted his case to that officer. He gives some points of information that seem to be important for you to know:
1. The rebel force on the Rappahannock has not been diminished. Two divisions of Longstreet's troops have returned to Fredericksburg.
2. The rebels are fortifying the fords of the Rapidan, and intend to fight on that stream and at Fredericksburg.
3. There are no works or troops on the railroad from Culpeper to within 3 mile of Richmond. All the heights around Richmond are fortified. He saw three of these works, viz: One on the Williamsburg road, with ten heavy guns mounted-very formidable; one on Murray Hill, with eight heavy guns and two light ones-mounted; one between Murray Hill and the river, with three light guns.
4. * * * The Merrimac Numbers 2 and one gunboat are at Fort Darling. Two new iron-clads now building, on model of Merrimac Numbers 2; no iron on yet; one planked, the other not quite. The iron appears to be ready. No troops to be seen near Richmond, except in the fortifications.
5. * * * The bread riots in Richmond were gotten up by Union men, of whom there are as many as ever. There is much suffering among the citizens in the South, but the soldiers are well supplied and are in good heart and spirits. Everybody has been conscripted. The troops have 22 ounces per day of flour, one-fourth pound of meat, with some sugar and rice occasionally. The rebel officers at Culpeper