RICHMOND, VA., February 19, 1865.
General R. E. LEE,
Reports from South Carolina induce me to suggest that you go to General Beauregard's headquarters for personal conference and observation as soon as the circumstances in your front will permit.
[FEBRUARY 19, 1865. -For Lee to Breckinridge, relating to operations in the Carolinas, see Part I, p. 1044.]
WINNSBOROUGH, S. C., February 19, 1865-12. 45 p. m.
(Received 5 p. m.)
General R. E. LEE,
Four corps of enemy are reported advancing on this place from Columbia and Alston on Broad River, tearing up Charlotte railroad. This indicates his intention not to return by same route. He will probably be at Charlotte about the 24th, before my forces can concentrate there. He will doubtless move then on Greensborough, Danville, and Petersburg, or if short of supplies, on Raleigh and Weldon, where he will form a junction with Schofield.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
To the President, who is respectfully requested to return inclosures after reading them.
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War.
It is not possible from the dispatches to understand what is being done to concentrate forces, and the rapidity with which the enemy is expected to move indicates little effort to delay or obstruct his progress. If we knew what was being done in front, on flank, or in rear of the enemy where our forces are, and on what lines they are moving, some suggestion might be made.
WHITE OAK, S. C., February 19, 1865-10 p. m.
(Received 8. 30 p. m. 20th.)
General R. E. LEE:
After close examination and exertin every means inmy power, I find it impossible for the troops now in Charleston to form a junction with me this side of Greensborough. Believing it best, from information just received from Governor Vance and General Bragg, to transport the troops by rail to that point, I have directed General McLaws to move them by rail as rapidly as possible. I am also of the opinion that Cheatham, at Newberry this morning with 2,000 men, and Stewart, eighteen hours behind him, with 1,200 men, cannot form a junction with me except by moving across via Statesburg and Manchester, and thence by rail to Greensborough. This movement will require some days, owing to difficulties of crossing the Broad and Wateree Rivers.