In field, Culpepper C. H. Va., April 5st 1864.
MAJ. GEN. E. A. BURNSIDE
COM'D'G, 9TH ARMY CORPS
Your letter of yesterday, enclosing copy of your letter of the 26th of January to the Secretary of War, was received this morning just as I was leaving Washington, and so short a time before leaving that I did not get to read it until my arrival here
The plan of operations for this spring campaign I fixed upon almost immediately on assuming command of the Army and I yet see no reason to change. It does not embrace the movements proposed in your letter to the Secretary of War. If it did your request for the return of troops formerly belonging to the 9th Army Corps would be immediately complied with. I may yet be able to return them to the 9th Army Corps but it can only be after they meet in the field. The Artillery for your command will be taken from the defenses of Washington, where they are now well quartered and provided for. To move them to Annapolis from which place they would have again to be moved so soon, could not compensate by any benefits to arise from it for the inconvenience of such a transfer, to say nothing of the expenses it would put the Goverment to.
I cannot make clear to you the reasons why your requests for transfer of troops cannot be immediately granted without giving you the plan of operations which I propose and for which most of the preparatory instructions have already gone out. When we meet I will take great pleasure in communicating to you fully (as it will be my duty to do in view of the part you are expected to take) what is to be done.
I wish you to get forward to Annapolis by the 20th inst. all the force you can and be in readiness to move at a days notice with whatever force you may have at any time after that.
I have appointed Col. Babcock, 1 an Aide of my Staff but have