to report for duty through the colonel commanding Confederate Point to the commanding general. I regret very much that the customary rules relative to service with the army on shore are now found necessary to be strictly adhered to, except that as a matter of course the garrison of Battery Buchanan as long as it is detached by you is subject to your recall, it must hereafter be considered as in military service. As all action in the premises originated here, I hope that you and I can arrange this matter satisfactorily and without reference to Richmond.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS, December 6, 1864.
Colonel C. S. VENABLE, Aide-de-Camp:
You note of yesterday is received. Our scouts are constantly out trying to get valuable information of the enemy's movements, but they report the enemy's lines so closely picketed that it is impossible for them to pass through them. The command is on the alert and every man who can be supplied with spade, pick, or ax is kept at hard labor strengthening our lines. I think that the enemy will hardly venture an assault upon such formidable lines as we have upon this side, unless he forces his way up the river, and it must be some time yet before he can complete his canal.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS, Turnbull's, December 6, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:
Mr. PRESIDENT: The Sixth Corps of the enemy is rested to have certainly taken cars at Stephenson's Depot on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd instant for Harper's Ferry. It is stated they did not go west, and that no other troops have left Sheridan. Lieutenant Cawood report that twenty-one steamers loaded with troops descended the Potomac on the 3rd, passing his station at 5 p. m. He estimates their number at 10,000 men. I presume they were a part of the Sixth Corps, returning to General Grant, and I think Lieutenant Cawood's estimate of the number he saw too large. General Gordon's division will reach Richmond to-morrow night, and I have directed General Early to have another division in readiness to follow it.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
PETERSBURG, December 7, 1864. (Received 2.30 p. m.)
Honorable J. A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
A scout just in reports enemy-cavalry, infantry, and artillery-moving down Jerusalem plank road; had passed Captain Proctor's this morning. General Pickett reports enemy crossing to south side at