Butler's purpose to put to death our scouts caught within his lines, uniformed as soldiers of the Confederacy. My scouts are everywhere in this locality, often visiting Norfolk, Old Point, and Yorktown. Such a threat I deem against the laws of Christian warfare, and not sustained by the laws of war or nations. Would it be intruding too much upon your kindness to have the inquiries made through the proper official channel, that I may govern myself accordingly?
It is more than probable from their own talk that they will advance by the Peninsula to a point opposite their intended landing on the south side in order that they be mutually supported by their gunboats.
Their talk give evidence of a deeply laid plan by Foster to capture Richmond, or at least Petersburg, and these officers do not hesitate to say had Foster remained, he would at least have attempted it.
It has become particularly hazardous to land on the north side of the James within their lines, owing to the fact of deserters and other evil-disposed persons giving them information of our line of communication. My scouts are active and vigilant, and I most truly hope, with proper prodence, to be able to keep this communication open.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. MILLIGAN,
November 27, 1863.
Send Barton's brigade to Hanover Junction, as first directed to-day, and bring forward Ransom's brigade, as also instructed this morning. Arrangements will be made to replace.
Assistant and Inspector General.
November 27, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
Barton's brigade leaves here at 5 a. m. to-morrow for Richmond; transportation should be ready there to take it to Hanover Junction. I have ordered Ransom to concentrate at Weldon, leaving two companies at Kinston and two at Hamilton. Should General Whiting be ordered to send some of his force to Goldsborough or some other point on the railroad, then I could bring Ransom or a portionof his brigade to Petersburg, which is now entirely uncovered. Please send an order to the regiment of Ransom, in Western North Carolina, to return, or let Whiting relieve it. I have ordered Seventeenth Virginia to be ready to move up from Blackwater.
GEO. E. PICKETT,