War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0943 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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next day for Fortress Monroe, and one from Jacksonville, dated April 17, speaks of troops leaving Florida. It may be that some of these may have been since diverted by the events in North Carolina, but the time of their withdrawal indicates that they were not originally intended for that State, and I have no doubt they were to form part of the army of General Smith at Fortress Monroe. The officers commanding in North Carolina will be able to ascertain whether any part, of this force has come to that department, but I think, taking all the information together, that we should rather look to see them operating against Richmond, and make our preparations accordingly.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

[Indorsement of General Lee on a report of Burke, the scout, forwarded to the President with the foregoing letter.]

HEADQUARTERS,

May 3, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded for information of the President.

This is from one of the most sagacious of our scouts, who was sent into Maryland for the purpose of ascertaining the plans of the enemy. I think it embodies his designs, as it corresponds with other information, and is supported by movements as far as ascertained. Generals Breckinridge and Imboden both report the troops that had gone west to Beverly, &c., as returning east. I think they will move up the valley. It is their better move. I hope General Breckinridge will be ordered to unite with Imboden to drive them back. If General Beauregard can take care of the flank movement on Richmond, and I can get all the troops belonging to this army, Pickett, Hoke, and R. D. Johnston, I will endeavor to hold the front. If this cannot be done it may be better for me to be nearer Richmond, which I request the President to decide. I do not think that Burnside has 27,500 men, and I do not know where General W. F. Smith can get 35,000.* He will get all of those that can be drawn from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, in addition to those at Suffolk, on the Peninsula, &c.

R. E. LEE,

General.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 103.

Richmond, May 3, 1864.

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XII. Captain Fleming Gardner, Corps of Engineers, Provisional Army, C. S., will proceed without delay to the headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, and report to General R. E. Lee, commanding, for assignment to duty with his chief engineer.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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* See Smith to Shaffer, May 2, 1864, p.348.

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