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Doc. 7.-General Hooker on the Rapidan.

The following is a copy of a letter from Major-General J. J. Peck to Andrew D. White, Vice-President of the Onondaga Historical Association. It was accompanied by a map of Suffolk, showing Longstreet's, Hill's, and Hood's operations in April and May, 1863, during the short campaign of General Hooker on the Rapidan.

Sir: Permit me to present through you, to the Onondaga Historical Association, a map of Suffolk, Va., and the adjacent region. It is a section of a map which I had prepared while in command of the U. S. forces on the south side of the James River.

It is of especial interest as presenting the theatre of operations of one wing of Lee's army, under Lieutenant-General Longstreet, Hill, and Hood, from April tenth to May third, 1863. Although Hill was not present all the time, he was operating with Longstreet, and by his orders made certain demonstrations in North Carolina, about the first of April, with the object of causing troops to be detached from Suffolk and other points. Having accomplished his mission, he discontinued the siege of Little Washington on the fifteenth, and despatched his troops to Suffolk.

Longstreet himself may have joined Lee and Jackson at the crisis of Chancellorsville, or soon after, although his servants and horses fell into our hands near Suffolk, on the fourth of May. Doubtless one division, or a portion thereof, succeeded in reaching the Rapidan, in spite of the bold operations of Stoneman. [183]

The relative strength of Hooker and Lee is given by the New York Tribune of March twenty-six, 1864, in an editorial on the “Richmond Campaigns,” as follows: Hooker, one hundred and twenty-three thousand fighting men present for duty; Lee, forty-nine thousand seven hundred men.

At this time I do not purpose expressing an opinion respecting the accuracy of the estimates of the Tribune, but it is due the little Army I had the honor to command, that I should state that the force opposed to us in front of Suffolk was very heavy, nearly twice my own, for many days, and in the hands of some of the ablest rebel West Pointers; viz., Longstreet, Hill, Hood, Pickett, Garnett, Anderson, French, &c.

The operations about Suffolk, ending May fourth, were suddenly eclipsed in the night of general gloom and painful anxiety which attended General Hooker's disaster at Chancellorsville. Attention was not again awakened upon that field, and the campaign will be imperfectly understood by the public while the official reports remain unpublished.

Sincerely yours,

John J. Peck, Major-General.

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