MAY 2, 1863-6.40 p.m.
The last clause referred to movements of their divisions in front of you, meaning that there were no signs of these divisions in your front moving, as we understood it. The deserters have gone to Washington. We are in full movement, and have been for some time.
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 2, 1863-8.15 p.m.
Our latest and most reliable information from Richmond is as follows. Am inclined to the belief that this will prove true:
Our friend just returned. The works around Richmond are most formidable at Meadow Bridge and Mechanicsville road. They are intended for field artillery. No guns in position. At Richmond are the City Battalion and some artillery. Twenty-seven hundred rations issued to troops in Richmond in active service. General Wise has 5,000 on the Peninsula. Longstreet has tree divisions at Suffolk. When they left Lee, they were each 8,000 strong. Their effective force, all told, not over 15,000 men. D. H. Hill is ordered from Washington, [N. C.,] to re-enforce Longstreet's corps. He may, however, take Longstreet's place at Suffolk, and Lee may be
re-enforced by Longstreet.
Chief of Staff.
SUFFOLK, VA., May 2, 1863.
VIA FORT MONROE, VA., May 4-12.30 a.m.
Chief of Staff, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
It is important to arrive at correct conclusions regarding Longstreet's force. You say three division left Fredericksburg with 24,000. My information, from more than 100 individuals, has been that his force was 28,000 to 30,000. One of the spies, who has spent weeks in their camps, supplied a list of that army, as well as Lee's, and 28,000 was the figure on April 1. He has enforced the conscription most vigorously in several counties not heretofore visited, on this side of the Blackwater. He has been joined by 4,000 strong from Hill, and perhaps more; but the advance of Hooker will soon force him to the river. His men are ready to go at a moment's warning.
JOHN J. PECK,
(Copy to General Halleck.)
WASHINGTON, May 2, 1863.
Brigadier General W. F. BARRY,
GENERAL: You will immediately proceed to Pittsburgh and Wheeling, endeavor to allay the panic, and organize defense against the rebel raid. If necessary, arms will be issued to the people for their defense. Artillery should be mounted for the defense of the public store-houses.