WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S.,
Richmond, Va., November 26, 1863.
Major General GEORGE E. PICKETT,
Commanding at Petersburg:
I find your force less than I had supposed. It will not do wholly to uncover Petersburg. Can you not draw some forces from North Carolina to take their place, yet leaving Weldon protected? I suggest you sending such portion of Barton's brigade at Petersburg as you can spare to Hanover Junction at once, retaining the balance until you draw some force from North Carolina. Take care not to interfere with the movements of corn.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, November 26, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of this morning in reference to the sending of a portion of Barton's brigade to Hanover Junction and not leaving Petersburg uncovered. Barton's brigade numbers about 1,200 muskets; therefore it would not do to divide it. Petersburg is not ocovered by any means against an attack. I have so reported before. All that I would do would be to hold the enemy in check, should they advance in force, till I could get re-enforcements.
The only infantry I have in the department, bsides Barton's brigade, is Ransom's brigade, one regiment of which is in Western North Carolina. Please inform me what the emergency is. If I am to take my division into the field, I wish to take the whole division, and not a portion of it, as I died at Gettysburg, and I beg of you not to split it up when going into action. If I am to keep command of this department, do not entierely denude it. I refere you to many of my communications on the subject. If the enemy make an advance on General Lee, the probability is they will make a simultaneous advance on thsi point and up the river.
Rest assured I will use my utmost endeavors to comply with whatever order I may receive with my whole ability.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. E. PICKETT,
November 26, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
The following dispatch just received:
The French steamer has anchored off Berkley. Colonel Herbert reports enemy re-enforced at Suffolk by two regiments of infantry and three companies of cavalry from Newport News. Pickets do think it is impossible to obtain news of enemy's movements.
GEO. E. PICKETT,