York Cavalry at Berryville. I have directed General Milroy to send a detachment into Loudoun to intercept Mosby. Cannot General Heintzelman hurry off some of General Stahel's force in that direction to help catch the rascals?
ROBT. C. SCHENCK,
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
May 13, 1863.
His Excellency to PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
My movements have been a little delayed by the withdrawal of many of the two-year's and nine-months' regiments, and those whose time is not already up it will be expedition to leave on this side of the river. This reduction imposes upon me the necessity of partial reorganization. My marching force of infantry is cut down to about 800,000, while I have artillery for an army of more than double that number. It has always been out of proportion, considering the character of the country we have to campaign in, and I shall be more efficient by leaving at least one-half of it in depot. In addition, Stoneman's cavalry returned to camp day befroe yesterday, and will require a day or two more to be in readiness to resume operations.
I know that you are impatient, and I knowa that I am, but my impatience must not be indulged at the expense of dearest interests.
I am informed that the bulk of Longstreet's force is in Richmond. With the facilities at hand, he can readily transfer it to Lee's army, and no doubt will do so if Lee should fight and fall back, as he will try to do.
The enemy's camps are reported to me as being more numerous than before our last movement, but of this I have no positive information. They probably have about the same number of troops as before the last battle, but with these and Longstreet's they are much my superior, besides having the advantage of acting on the defensive, which, in this country, can scarcely be estimated.
I hear nothing of Peck's movements and of the force at West Point, which is too small to be of much importance in the general movement. If it is expected that Peck will be able to keep Longstreet's force in and about Richmond, I should be informed of it, and if not, a reserve infantry force of 25,000 should be placed at my disposal in this vicinity. I merely state this for your information, not that I know even that you have such a force, or, if you have, that you would be disposed to make use of it in this way. I only desire that you should be informed of my views. In my opinion, the major part of the troops on the Upper Potomac,in and around Washington and Baltimore, are out of position, and if great results are expected from the approaching movement, every man and vessel at the disposal of the Government should be assigned their posts. I hope to be able to commence my movement to-morrow, but this must not be spoken of to any one.
Is it asking too much to inquire your opinion of my Orders, Numbers 49?* If so, do not answer me.
Jackson is dead, and Lee beats McClellan in his untruthful bulletins.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
*See Part I, p. 171.