War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 1025 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 8.

January 9, 1865.

I. The Fortieth, Forty-seventh, and Fifty-fifth Regiments and the Twenty-second and Twenty-fifth Battalions Virginia Infantry are organized into a brigade, to the command of which Brigadier General S. M. Barton is hereby temporarily assigned.

II. The First, Second, Third, and Fourth Battalions Virginia Reserves and the Tenth, Nineteenth, Eighteenth, and Twentieth Virginia Battalions of Heavy Artillery and the battalion of five companies serving at Chaffin's Bluff are organized into one brigade. The Eighteenth Battalion of Georgia Heavy Artillery is temporarily attached to this brigade until it can be assigned to a Georgia brigade.

III. The two brigade organized above and the brigade of Local Defense Troops, consisting of the Second and Third Regiments and the First, Fourth, and Fifth Battalions Local Defense Troops will constitute a division to the command of which Major General G. W. C. Lee is hereby assigned.

IV. The Thirteenth Alabama Regiment is transferred from Archer's brigade, of Hetch's division, Third Corps, to Sanders' (old) Alabama brigade, of Mahone's division, same corps.

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By command of General R. E. Lee:

C. S. VENABLE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,

January 9, 1865.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding:

The noise of artillery moving along the enemy's front was heard early this morning, supposed to be going in the direction of the river. General Ewell reports that one battalion of artillery has been withdrawn from his front, also that the line seems thin. Scouts report no great change visible in the enemy's camps. A party will push their way within the lines to-night and obtain definite information.

J. LONGSTREET,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,

January 9, 1865.

Major General C. W. FIELD,

Commanding Division:

General Longstreet directs that you push a scouting party of about 100 picked men within the enemy's lines to-night to obtain information as to the fact of their having shipped off most of their force from this side of the river to Wilmington. They had better start about dark down the Charles City road, and strike across and into the enemy's lines, by that road in which Law's and Benning's brigades were on the evening of the 10th of December. It is not desired that they should make a fight, if it can be possibly avoided; their sole object will be to obtain information. Let very intelligent officer accompany the expedition. It is of the utmost importance to us to be correctly informed as to the enemy's shipment of troops. The party might

65 R R-VOL XLVI, PT II