War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1198 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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of which you are aware was mainly drawn from Southwestern Georgia, communication with which was interrupted by the enemy's recent raid on the Central Railroad. That road is again at work, and the Quartermaster-General expects the first lot of corn from Macon since the road was broken will arrive in four or five days, and if there be no further interruption there will be a steady succession in the arrival from that quarter, and that the amount will be adequate for the supply of your army. He is quite confident that the Danville and Piedmont Railroad can transport all which can be brought to their terminus. One of the difficulties of which he complains is that of getting the corn from the plantations to the depots, and this, ge says, is mainly due to the withdrawal of the detailed men, overseers, and farmers from their homes for temporary military service. I have had serious apprehension that the source of supply might be exhausted by the retreat of the Army of Tennessee and the consequent exposure of the Atlanta and Montgomery Railroad, the possession of which by the enemy would compel the army to draw its supplies from the same quarter which is relied on to furnish corn for the Army of Virginia. West of the Alabama River these is an abundant supply of corn, large quantities of which are stored along the railroads and navigable rivers. The reported amount now at Montgomery is 300,000 bushels, and the receipts are said to be equal to the amount sent forward from there daily. The 600 wagons were put on the break on the West Point railroad, and another train of wagons is running from Montgomery to the railroad at Union Springs. If General Hood is successful against Sherman, and we suffer no serious disaster, so as to deprive us of the supplies in Middle Alabama and East Mississippi, I think we shall be better able to sustain an army here than we were the first year of the war. I directed inquiry to be made for oats in Virginia and North Carolina, but have been disappointed by learning that but a small about can be obtained. It would seem, therefore, that for the supply of forage we must mainly rely upon the railroad connection with the south by way of Danville and Greensborough. I trust the enemy will not be able to reach that road. I cannot say I was surprised that the enemy have been able to break through the Weldon railroad, though I regret they should have had time to fortify themselves as a consequence of feeble attacks made upon them at the time of their first occupation of it, which, as I understand, was during the absence of the force he had detached to the northern side of the James River. Interposed, as he now is, between your army and Weldon, I have felt increased apprehension lest an attack should be made upon Wilmington. The Northern papers clearly indicate the change of plan on the part of General Grant which you think suggested by his operations, and they seem to render it quite certain that his movement to the north side of James River was not intended as a feint, but adopted as an easy line under existing circumstances to approach Richmond. I sill do whatever is in my power, and in the manner you request, to aid you in defeating the new plan, and I hope you will be as successful as you have heretofore been against this and other generals of the enemy who have been sent to reduce the capital of the Confederacy and to humble the pride of Virginia.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,