I have the honor to inclose a letter from the Secretary* suggesting that the local forces (excepting the militia)-the forces of the various departments and workshops under General Custis Lee-be dismissed to-night. I do not think they should be dismissed before to-morrow morning, if the. Such an order was given last night, but afterward countermanded.
I would like to be informed of any changes the general may have made in the disposition of the local forces on the different roads.
JULY 5, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
If nothing has l yet been heard from Cooke, I fear the worst; his fixed batteries could be of little service to him.
Jenkins has gone round to the Brook turnpike. There ought to be a telegraph operator there to communicate with the city and us.
I would respectfully suggest repeating the telegram to Colquitt, unless he has been heard from The operators are very negligent in many cases. Colquitt ought to be brought up with as little delay as possible. We will have no peace till we whip the marauders. Captain Wright reports from the Blackwater that Corcoran with the last of the Suffolk troops had come over here. If Spear is the man he is said to be, he will be at Columbia to-day, unless he has bigger game in view.
With great respect,
D. H. HILL,
RICHMOND, July 5, 1863.
Brigadier General M. D. CORSE,
Firing was heard, and we have reason to believe there was a fight, at the junction last night; result not known, as communication with the Junction has ceased by both lines. General Cooke was at the Junction with some 2, 500 men.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS FORCES FOR LOCAL DEFENSE,
Brook Church, July 5, 1863.
Major T. O. CHESTNEY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to transmit the inclosed report from Colonel
William M. Browne, commanding volunteer cavalry, for your information.
If it is expected that the forces for local defense are to remain in the field for any length of time, it might be well for Colonel Browne to picket the Meadow Bridge road and Brook turnpike instead of the