CAMP AT ORANGE COURT-HOUSE,
October 1, 1863.
His excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States, Richmond, Va.:
Mr. PRESIDENT: From the additional evidence received since my letter of yesterday, I consider it, certain that two corps have been withdrawn from General Meade's army to re-enforce General Rosecrans. One of the scouts saw General Howard take the cars at Catlett's Station, where his headquarters had been established, and saw order troops marching toward Manassas, which he believes to have been the twelfth Corps. Transportation on the railroad was interrupted all last Saturday, which may have been owing to the operations of Mosby or White, to whom I had sent instructions to that effect.
Everything that can be done to strengthen Bragg ought now to be done, and of he cannot draw Rosecrans out in any other way, it might be accomplished by operating against his re-enforcements on their line of travel. If he found they could not reach him, he would be obliged to go to them.
I send this morning Major Clarke, of the Engineers, to General Longstreet, to whom I think he may be useful. I part with him with reluctance.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Wilmington, October 1, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
SIR: I think it is quite time to collect troops for this place. I am convinced that very shortly a large part of the force bow engaged against Charleston will be diverted here. The character of their operations leads me to this opinion, especially their works on Morris Island.
While they have long-range guns, these are mounted against the city alone, and not against Sullivan's Island.
The defenses of Fort Wagner are chiefly in the channel, which indicates the probable absence of their own iron-clads and apprehension from ours. By rendering Morris Island very strong they seal up Charleston Harbor, and can hold their position with comparatively small force, while the rest can attempt the same thing here. If they make a lodgment they will do it. If successful in closing these two ports they inflict a heavier blow than the capture of either, and they are at liberty to pursue their operations at will, to the final reduction of both. When it is considered that i have but 500 men to prevent their occupation of any place they see fit to take, I hope that every effort will be made to forward a force at once; otherwise I am greatly apprehensive of disaster without remedy. I cannot answer for the safety of this place in its present condition.
W. H. C. WHITING,