HDQRS. SECOND CORPS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
April 30, 1864.
Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,
SIR: I established a signal post yesterday at Colonel Rowe's house on Mine Run, just where the pike crosses that stream. I found it impracticable to have a post at Locust Grove, as the distance is too great for any of our glasses, except exceedingly clear days, and consequently it would be very rare that we could communicate with that point. The present station is only two miles west of Locust Grove. I afterward ascertained that this point is nearer to the officer in chargek of the pickets, as well as the officers in charge of the reserves, both of whom have been notified where the post is. These officers have charge of the pickets at Sisson's Jacobs', and Willis' Fords. If General Fitz. Lee has to send couriers up from the fords below it would be well to notify him of the post, as it might save him some riding, the post being twelve miles from your headquarters. Major Roberts, in command at Verdierville, says he can furnish rations and forage for the men at the station. Will you therefore please send him the necessary order to supply two men and two horses. Should you desire a night line to that point, it will be necessary for Major Roberts to furnish some assistance in keeping up a night watch. A night line seems desirable, as the enemy would be apt to make their demonstrations at the fords at night.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. WILBOURN,
Captain, Signal Corps.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRIGNIA,
May 2, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major General J. E. B. Stuart, commanding Cavalry Corps, who will please cause the necessary assistance to be given to Captain Wilbourn in procuring rations for men and horses, watch, and in establishing the night line of signals.
By order of General Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTH VIRGINIA,
Kinston, N. C., May 1, 1864.
Major General R. F. HOKE,
Commanding Expedition against New Berne:
GENERAL: Having no authority to interfere in your proposed movement on New Berne, your instructions having been received direct from General Bragg, I avail myself of your desire that I should command the expedition to offer you the following suggestioins, resulting from information received or collected since my arrival here. It appears that the enemy's forces, reported to be about 6,000 men of all arms in and around New Benre, are distributed nearly as follows: First. One regiment of infantry and one of cavalry occupy the outer line of works, about seven miles from New Berne, and guard the direct approaches to that town. Second. Three regiments of infantry and several companies of heavy artillery occupy the forts and lines defending the town. Third. Three regiments defend the works on the south side of the