he has received information from deserters to the effect that troops have left Richmond to reinforce Jackson; that the movement commenced on the 15th, and that if reinforcements have gone to Jackson they are probably not loss than 10,000 men; that he cannot vouch for the truth of the statement, but that it seems pretty certain that it is believed in Richmond and among the rebel troops.
To this the President replies on the same day, that the information is corroborated by a dispatch from General King at Fredericksburg, and remarks; --"It this is true, it is as good as a reinforcement to you of an equal force."
On the same day Gen. McClellan telegraphs to the President--
"A general engagement may take place at any hour.
An advance by us involves a battle more or less decisive.
The enemy exhibit at every point a readiness to meet us. They certainly have great numbers and extensive works.
If ten or fifteen thousand men have left Richmond to reinforce Jackson, it illustrates