MAY 11, 1863.
His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
Mr. Ould says neither of the two bridges over the South Anna nor the bridge over the North Anna was destroyed.* The railroad communication is uninterrupted. General Hays is in Richmond, and not wounded. He will be sent down.
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Camp near Falmouth, Va., May 11, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
Your replies to my communications with regard to my wounded seeming not sufficiently to determine the proper course to be pursued with regard to the place and manner of their reception, the state of the roads and streams, with the nature, condition, and number of the wounded, of which I am unadvised, seem to require that the arrangements for the transfer should be effected by the respective medical directors of the armies. I have, therefore, dispatched Surgeon Letterman, medical director of this army, with this letter, under flag of truce, with the request that you medical director may meet him, and that they arrange the details of the transfer of the wounded to this side of the river in such a manner as, with your approval, may be for the comfort of the wounded and their safety from unnecessary exposure and fatigue.
I have directed Surgeon Letterman, if your approval is given to this proceeding to enter into such arrangements with your medical director as will meet your sanction and carry out the views I have expressed. In a former communication you informed me that they would be sent over at Banks' Ford, Unitedd States Ford, or Fredericksburg. I am since informed that they are not permitted to be transferred at the fords.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 11, 1863
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: The medical director of this army advises me that your wounded will avoid inconvenience and suffering if taken directly from the different hospitals in your own ambulances instead of being sujected to the change of conveyance incident to their removal to the river by my transportation. Should you see proper to adopt this suggestion, your ambulances will be permitted to cross the Rappahannock at the United States Mine Ford to remove the wounded from Chancellorsville, at Banks' Ford for those at Salem Church, and at Fredericksburg for those in that vicinity.
Instructions have been issued to the commanding officers at the points above mentioned to give free passage to your trains, and each of them,
*See Lincoln to Dix, May 9, p. 455.
30 R R-VOL XXVI, PT II