War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0927 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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November 15, 1863-7.30 p. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

I have just received a letter from Mr. Smith, stating he has seen an acquaintance who left Richmond on the 3rd and Fredericksburg on the 6th instant. At that date there were no troops in Richmond except the home guard, consisting of boys and old men; that De-Courcey's [?] brigade left Richmond on the 1st of November for Tennessee, and that Garrett's [?] brigade was at Taylorsville, on the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad, on the 3rd instant, with marching orders to go, so report said, to Tennessee; that at that time there was no guard at the railroad bridge across the South Anna River, and that the heavy guns had been removed from the fortifications around Richmond, but did not know where they had taken them; that, on the 4th, Cobb's Legion, comprising about 300 men, were at Fredericksburg; these were all the troops he saw between Richmond and Fredericksburg; that there is no force in Lynchburg; that he had been as far south as Wilmington, N. C., and that there was no force there; that three vessels arrived there while he was there, and a very large amount of Government storeswere received thereabout daily.

He also says that it is reported and freely talked about in Richmond of abandoning Virginia, and they are now moving things quietly from the different parts of the State, and that the troops will all be drawn off; that is one reason of a show to hold Culpeper to better enable them to carry out their plans. I send this information in the words it has been conveyed to me, and from its source I deem it of sufficient importance to suggest it be telegraphed to General Meade before he leaves Washington, as it may be useful to him there.


Major-General, Commanding.


November 27, 1863.

[Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:]

SIR: My troops have been in line since 7 o'clock this morning, waiting for the Third Corps, all closed up. I have understood General French was retarded by the enemy. One of French's brigades was left on the other side of the river, at Mitchell's Ford. I supposed it on the other side, and was about to retire; discovered it was on the other side and the bridge taken up. To relieve it now a brigade would have to go down to Germanna Ford, a distance of 5 miles, and up, making 10. Did the general expert it to be left there?


Major-General, Commanding.