receive no other orders, he will return with his command to his division on the 2nd proximo. He will also communicate anything of interest he may discover, and should know that he may have to move in the direction of Culpeper Court-House or the United States Ford. The general commanding desires you to send the brigade off early, and in such a manner that the enemy on the other side cannot discover the movement. He also wishes to know early to-morrow what brigade you will have sent, and the hour of its departure.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. SORREL,
[21.] Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 8, 1863.
Colonel L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General C. S. Army:
COLONEL: Your letter of 27th ultimo has been received. I have always endeavored to cause this army during the campaign to draw its supplies of subsistence and forage from the surrounding country in preference to transporting them from a distance. These orders have been given here, also to the chief quartermaster and commissary of this army, and have been carried out as far as is practicable and compatible with the necessities of the people in this region. The miles of this country, including Jerrold's Mills, mentioned in your letter, have been reported to me to be in constant use for the supply of the troops. The farmers can haul their wheat to these mills and find immediate sale for their flour. But these mills are of small capacity, and we cannot use the mills in Fredericksburg, so that we are compelled to draw much more from our resources of subsistence in Richmond at the present time than in the earlier part of the campaign.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS FORCES AT PETERSBURG, &C.,
Petersburg, January 8, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with orders received from Major General S. G. French I repaired to the Blackwater with the brigade under my command, and transferred this brigade to the immediate command of General Pryor, whose troops had orders to Goldsborough, with the exception of a regiment of cavalry and some artillery. I then assumed command of the forces at Petersburg and on the Blackwater. I examined the country and its defenses, had a full conference with General Pryor, and then returned to Petersburg according to orders. I wish to present the following considerations.
I. The disposition of the forces along the course of the Blackwater, such as made by General Pryor, seemed to me to be very judicious, and to require no change at present. The line of our pickets, which is extemely long, has been shortened by my orders (at the suggestion of General Pryor), and instead of stretching obliquely toward Surry Court-House and the James River, is brought straight across to the headwaters of Pagan Creek, which is impassable to he enemy. The