HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
April 18, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: Ihave received your letter of the 14th instant with reference tothe application of Captain Dement's company for transfer to the Maryland Line. I have always been of opinion that the act of February, 1862, by its own operation, made all Maryland companies in existence at the date of the act a part of the Maryland Line, and so decided on the occasion of a previous applicatiion from the members of the same command. But I did not consider that the law was intended to interfere with the employment of any part of the line where it could be of most use, and have accordingly retained it in connection with other batteries for general service. There are already two companies of Maryland artillery which have been sent to hanover Junction to report to Colonel Johnson, and though reduced, I considered that they were sufficient for the wants of that post, especially as I hoped that their location at that point would enable them to be recruited. Captain Dement's company was retained with the other artillery of the army because I thought it would be more useful; but if it be thought that its presence will contribute to the recruiting of the line, I do not object to its being sent to Camp Howard, and have ordered it to report accordingly. It is a good company and has done good service. I hope that it will not be lost to the army in the field at a time when we cannot afford to lose any of our strength.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, Va., April 18, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Commanding C. S. Armies, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose the accompanying reports from below the Blackwater.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. E. PICKETT,
P. S.-General Clingman has been ordered to push on a reconnaissance toward Suffolk and beyond to obtain positive information, if possible.
G. E. P.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
IVOR, April 18, 1864.
All intelligence up to this time confirms the statement that the Yankees have returned to their former positions beyond Suffolk, and that they did not exceed in all 5,000.
T. L. CLINGMAN,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
IVOR, April 18, 1864.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Petersubrg, Va.:
The following reliable dispatch is just to hand, dated to-day:
The Yankees have all gone down below Suffolk and it is the general impression that they allgone to Norfolk, except one regiment of negro cavalry which is