the letter. directing him, however, to omit the address and signature and any marks which might denote the official, and thus attach to it importance or credibility. This is seems he did, adding, however, on his own account a remark which rendered my precaution vain. That I did not notice the fact the numbers given were susceptible of further calculation, was an oversight that I cannot now understand or explain. In this connection in may be stated the only newspaper reports who visit this belong to the New York Times and the Washington Morning Chronicle, both of which I believe to be loyal papers, and incapable of using to the public injury information that they might obtain; and I may also call your attention to the fact know to you personally that the greatest circumspection has been exercised at this office and by my personally to permit [prevent] the unauthorized publication of any articles whatever, trifling or important.
I did not see the printed article in the Chronicle until to-day. Several days since, learning that such an article was published, and fearing that others might be accused of its publication for unworthy motives, I wrote to the medical director of General Hooker's army, indicating the manner in which publicity was given the report, and design him to assure General Hooker of my deep regret and future caution. i trust, sir, that character and service will satisfy you not only how deeply I regret the oversight which has been committed, but that renewed prudence for the future will prevent will prevent the possible of such another inadvertence.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. R. SMITH,
Surgeon, u. s. Army.
April 21, 1863.
Major-General HOOKER: Army of the Potomac:
General Halleck has just left my headquarters. General Longstreet is here, waiting Hill of other troops. I hold everything yet. How do you get along/
JNO. J. PECK,
APRIL 21, 1863-10 p. m.
Am glad to hear good tidings from you. You must be patient with me. I must play with these devils before I can spring. Remember that my army is at the bottom of a well and the enemy holds the top.
April 21, 1863-3.30 p. m.
Major General H. W. Halleck,
Many circumstances now tend to indicate that the rebels are preparing to make some movement in force in Western Virginia. General Milroy telegraphed to me yesterday that, Except some small scattering
16 R R-VOL XXV, PT II