Petersburg in time to meet a raid. The brigade, with the artillery attached, should be kept either at Gary's or distributed at favorable points between the Seaboard Railroad and the line of the Wytherama (Wheeler's Mill Swamp), and proper defenses made at Faison's Mill (which can be done in a week) and those at Boon's Mill improved.
I hope, if you are to continue in command here, you will take the earliest opportunity o coming up and making a reconnaissance; if so, make my house your headquarters; it is immediately on the line of the Wytherama, which runs through the plantation. I can provide you with horses, &c., to make your reconnaissance. You will soon perceive the importance of defending Weldon on the line of this stream.
I expect to leave here the last of this week, but would remain to meet you if you could come. Please Drop me a line, if possible, by return mail, to Garysburg, N. C. I have engaged Mr. H. J. Pope to ride with you in case I am absent.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
H. K. BURGWYN.
N. B. - I would suggest as an important adjunct to the defense at both mills, that a road be made to connect them in the rear and on the north side of the Wytherama;, this would enable us to reenforce, each, unknown to the enemy, who would have to move on a much longer line in case of an attempt at flanking.
P. S. - If you are not in command here, pray for me to favor to forward this to the proper office at Richmond, as we are liable at any moment to another attempt.
Wilmington, August 5, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded, strongly recommended to the Secretary of War, for the information of the officer commanding the troops at Weldon.
Colonel Burgwyn is right, in my judgment, both as to the line of defense and the propriety of keeping a strong force near Weldon.
My information is to the effect that the enemy will continue their attempts on the road during the siege of Charleston. Kinston, also exposed, is too far; so is Petersburg.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
August 1, 1863.
Lieutenant-General Ewell directs me to send the following extract from a letter just received from general Lee, and to request that you examine the ground referred to, and report as soon as possible:
The engineers report a good line for us to take, about 1 1/2 miles from Orange Court-House, in the direction of the Rapidian, on the hills ranging between the headwaters of the stream flowing into the Pamunkey River, and of the streams flowing into the Rapidan.