War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0294 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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gard, with the force made available by this withdrawal, to be sent to re-enforce Johnston in the west, or be ordered to re-enforce this army. If these troops remain where they are, their services will be lost to the country, and they will become a prey to disease. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant.

R. E. LEE.



President Confederate States.


PRESIDENT: A letter from General A. P. Hill, dated 8 p. m. yesterday, reports no change in the attitude of affairs at Fredericksburg. Two batteries of light artillery, have crossed to the south side of the Rappahannock since my departure, and the enemy has constructed a line of rifle-pits along the bank of the river, extending from the mouth of Deep Run to Mansfield (Mr. Bernard's house), which defends the ground they occupy . General Hill, to test the enemy's strength in his front, made a demonstration yesterday afternoon at Moss Neck, which caused him to send hurriedly north of the Rappahannock four regiments from the south side. This causes me to believe that he has not more troops at that place than are visible though his main body may still be at or near Aquia. Scouts on the Potomac report s fleet of thirty-three schooners, unloaded, passing up the river on last Friday, and five steamers, towing empty canal-boats, passing down. I should, therefore, conclude that the schooners were not intended for the transportation of troops down the river. I see by the New York Herald that the Twelfth New York Cavalry Regiment is its to New Berne, N. C., and that the transports Pocahontas and S. L. Tilley would sail from New Berne for Boston on the 8th instant, with the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment . The Herald's correspondent also states that had General Foster five or six more regiments of cavalry, and a few more brigades of infantry and artillery, he could starve out the rebel army in Virginia . I infer from this, and the statement that General Wild had arrived at New Berne to organize an African brigade, that General Foster was not considered very strong . The plan stated in the letter (a copy of which sent me by General A. P. Hill) for destroying this army, does not appear to me to be process of immediate execution, inasmuch as it seems to be certain that the enemy has abandoned West Point, and diminished his force at Yorktown, Gloucester, and Suffolk. As the river is supposed to be in communication with General Hooker, its object may have been to cause us to take [?] to save this army and the city of Richmond. This course does not now appear to me the most advantageous for us, but if you think differently, I will pursue it.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,



President Confederate States.