We sadly need a brigade, or at least a regiment, of cavalry, and without the are almost incapable of assuring timely notice or means of arresting or overtaking the marauders. I know not, however, where to obtain them without endangering important operations. There are here only about 180 horsemen (engaged just now in watching the forces of Upper James) and some 300 men of new companies (formed at the camp in King and Queen), now attached, I believe, to the force at the Junction. These are all untried and unreliable, and I venture to inquire if it would not be well for General Stuart to take them, and send in lieu one of his shattered regiments, or a corresponding battalion of men who are familiar with fire. They could be refreshed, perhaps recruited, here, and would be of much more value to us, while the new companies, well mounted and of the best material, would be made trained soldiers.
You will excuse the diversity of subjects in this letter, as well as its length. I wished to explain these matters to you and have your counsel upon them, and they have all a general connection in relation to the disposition of your forces.
With high esteem, most respectfully, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 9, 1863.
Major General J. E. B. STUART,
GENERAL: General Lee desires me to say that he has received your dispatches by the couriers and from signal station. General Longstreet has a division looking to Stevensburg, and General Ewell on the other side looking to Brandy Station. He desires you not to expose your men too much, but to do the enemy damage when possible. As the hole thing seems to be a reconnaissance to determine our force and position, he wishes these concealed as much as possible, and the infantry not to be seen, if it is possible to avoid it.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. S. VENABLE,
Major, and Aide-de-Camp.
[P. S.]-Is your line of couriers by Ely`s and Madden`s cut off?
WHITE HOUSE, June 9, 1863-12 m.
Major-General ELZEY, Commanding:
GENERAL: Just returned from Walkerton, and examination of bluffs and ferries of the Mattapony. Not a sign of the enemy had been there. Neither General Pickett nor General Pettigrew have co-operated in the defense of King William as yet. Some forces of the former are said to have reached within 5 miles of Walkerton and gone back. Certainly either might have checked the enemy at Aylett`s. If I am to intercept the enemy in King William, I must occupy across from the White House, on the Pamunkey, to the bluffs above Frazer`s Ferry, and that I cannot do. If left to my discretion,