War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0833 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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off the tracks, and that the track, in many places, is very bad. I beg you to consult with the president and superintendent of the road as to what measures can be taken for its repair before the winter fairly sets in. To make details from this army for the purpose, in the present reduced condition of our regiments, is next to impossible. I hope, however, somthing may be done to put it in good repair, so that it may be relied on for the regular transportation of our supplies. If this cannot be done, the only alternative will be to fall back nearer to Richmond.

This would leave not only the railroad, but the richest portion of the State of Virginia at the mercy of the enemy. If the Engineer Department can do the work and the railroad company cannot, I think they might set a portion of the force employed on the defenses of Richmond at work at once and charge the work done to the company, to be deducted from the tolls on supplies transported to the army.

It is of great importance that the work should be done while the good weather lasts.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

November 12, 1863.

Brigadier General ROBERT F. HOKE,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I hope you have neary finished the work for which you were detached, and will soon be able to rejoin the army.

I regret to inform you that in the recent advance of the army at Rappahannock Bridge, that part of your brigade which ishere sustained a loss of 3 killed, 19 wounded, and 906 missing, most of whom were taken prisoners. As the number reported captured by the enemy is smaller than the number of missing, I suppose some of the men may have availed themselves of the opportunity for concealment presented by the capture of so large a part of the command, and returned home.

While you are in the State it would be well for you to give the matter your attention, and arrest any stragglers you can find.

This unfortunate affair greatly reduces your brigade, leaving only 29 officers and 257 men present for duty, and a total present of 30 officers and 321 men. I hope you will endeavor to procure some additional regiments from the Governor to fill up your brigade, as it could not be spared from the army, and I shall be glad to see you back again as soon as possible, with your command at least as strong as before.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Petersburg, Va., November 12, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the enemy had some seventeen steamers at Winton. They left without committing any

53 R R-VOL XXIX, PT II