War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0093 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC. -UNION.

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AUGUST 23, 1863 - 1. 30 p. m.

Major-General PLEASONTON,

Commanding Cavalry Corps:

The major-general commanding directs that Gregg's division of cavalry resume its former position and picket lines on the south side of the Hedgeman River so far as it is practicable to do so. Sufficient force should be left on this side of Hedgeman River to patrol toward Manassas Gap and the region between that gap and Thoroughfare Gap.

It is evident the major-general commanding considers, from your report and from the Richmond newspapers, that enemy's cavalry are north of the Rappahannock (Hedgeman branch). This he considers should not be permitted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, Fort Monroe, Va., August 23, 1863.

Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,

Commanding N. A. Bkg. Squadron, Newport News, Va.:

ADMIRAL: Your letter of the 18th I have just received. I regret, Admiral, that your absence from the roads, and my desire to make myself acquainted with the topography of my new command with as little delay as possible, should have induced me to make the reconnaissance of the James River in your absence. I do not think that "dragging" would have avoided an exposure to the dangers of the torpedoes. They were placed on the bottom of the river and exploded by friction tubes from the shore. The clearing the banks of the river of artillery and musketry I had no force adequate to do. Or course, admiral, it would afford me much pleasure to make any reconnaissance with you within my department that may seem to be needed for the information of our respective arms of the service.

With regard to the iron-clads on the Roanoke River, I sincerely regret that the force at my disposal is not adequate to overcome the resistance I would meet by the concentration of troops from Richmond, Petersburg, and North Carolina. Cohen was taken by General Potter on his recent raid, and was examined by him. His information appeared meager, and from all I know I cannot think that, even if the gunboats be meant for offensive movements, they will be able to move till the spring freshest. Any military movement would, I fear, induce the enemy to strengthen their works, and so, perhaps, block future movements intended for farther up.

I am, admiral, very respectfully and truly yours,

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, Fort Monroe, Va., August 23, 1863.

Major JOHN S. STEVENSON,

Third Pennsylvania Artillery:

MAJOR: You will proceed with the forces under your command on a reconnaissance up the James and Chickahominy Rivers. The