November 18, 1862: Gen. Robert E. Lee writes to Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, commanding his II Corps, that Burnside’s Yankees are on the move:\
The reports from our cavalry, individual scouts, and citizens, represent that the enemy has abandoned Warrenton, fallen down to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and is moving in force to Fredericksburg. Their progress and direction is confirmed by their camp-fires at night, which are said to be plainly visible. . . . The [Federal] cavalry, with light artillery, reached Falmouth [near Fredericksburg] yesterday about 3 p.m. Their infantry were said to have reached Hartwood last night; their camp-fires distinctly visible, extending continuously back toward the railroad. An intelligent scout reports this morning that it was Sumner's corps . . . There are in Fredericksburg a regiment of [our] cavalry, one of infantry, and two additional companies, and two light batteries. McLaws' division marched this morning for that place; also Lee's brigade of cavalry, and Ransom's division from Madison. The rest of Longstreet's corps is prepared to move, . . . I think it would be advisable to put some of your divisions in motion across the mountains, and advance them at least as Sperryville or Madison Court-House.
---The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes a news item about rioting over a salt shortage, as the Blockade begins to bite deeply into Southern life:
A letter from Dalton, Ga., states that a number of ladies in that place had gone to the State depot and demanded of the agent some salt. He directed them to the Commissary’s office, when they repaired thither and demanded salt or blood. That officer gave them some salt, which supplied their immediate wants. It is reported, says the Rome Courier, that this something was done at several other places on the State road.