the army here should remain inactive, I doubt whether General Hooker will be quiescent. There is some movement in agitation now not yet developed. By the last report he was drawing rations for 90,000 men. This does not include the troops in front of Alexandria, or in and about Washington. Making a liberal deduction, I should think this would give from 65,000 to 70,000 effective. By the last returns, the effective in this army, excluding Hood's and Pickett's divisions, were 38,000. A report from General Longstreet, of the 13th instant, states that General Hill had been ordered to reduce the force with which he was operating at Washington, N. C., to re-enforce General Beuaregard. If Pickett's division is withdrawn from him, I fear he will be unable to obtain the supplies we hoped to draw from the eastern portion of the department, which, as far as I am able to judge, are essential for the support of the troops. I had expected to recall General Longstreet as soon as he had secured all the subsistence which could be obtained in that region, to hold General Hooker in check, while Milroy could be driven out of the Valley. If, however, it is decided that it will be more advantageous to re-enforce General Johnston, these operations will have to be arrested.
The repulse of the enemy's iron-clads at Charleston may have the effect of deranging his projected plans of attack, and he can accomplish nothing in the interior after May. If such be the case, troops might be spared from that department to General Johnston. But I think his great reliance is to concentrate the troops in his own department, and use them where they can be most effectively employed.
The troops in the vicinity of Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, and Vicksburg will not be called in requisition at these places, and no more will be necessary than to man the batteries.
If the statements which I see in the papers are true, General Grant is withdrawing from Vicksburg, and will hardly return to his former position there this summer.
The President, from his position, being able to survey all the scenes of action, can better decide than any one else, and I recommend that he follow the dictates of his good judgment.
I am anxious for nothing but our success, and will cheerfully concur in any arrangement which may be decided on.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY, SECOND CORPS, April 16, 1863.
Brigadier General WILLIAM N. PENDLETON:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 15th, together with your order of the same date, came to hand to-day. In the application of the latter there are several points I wish to make inquiry about. First, in using the term "wagon," I presume you mean 4-horse wagons? You say, "in each battalion it is believed that two wagons will suffice for staff purposes;" I presume you mean by this that one is to supply transportation for the cooking utensils, desks, papers, and tents of the field officers, assistant quartermaster, surgeon, and ordnance officer, while the other is to be used as a medical wagon, which, you remember, every surgeon is required to carry, transporting in it a hospital tent, stretchers, and medical supplies. Then again "one wagon to a section will ordinarily suffice