Kearny without waiting for your reply to my letter. Before doing so, I caused the horse and equipments to be appraised by a board, and the price fixed for them has been paid to the quartermaster, to await your decision upon the question of returning those articles, as submitted by me in my letter referred to. The sword, which was a light one, with a leather scabbard suitable for a disabled person, I regarded as constituting part of General Kearny's private property, and as such proper to be returned to his family, in accordance with approved usage under such circumstances. Its value will also be paid to the Ordnance Department should you not approve of its return.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
General Lee's proceedings approved. No further action needed.
J. A. C.
Assistant Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Charleston, W. Va., October 7, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I received, on the 4th instant, a letter from General Lee, dated on the 25th ultimo, in which he sketches a campaign for me against the railroad at Fairmont and a continuation of the movement into Pennsylvania, terminating in a junction or co-operation with him, via the Potomac River. The route which he marks out for me (down the Monongahela River) is so long, difficult, and unsupplied with subsistence, that before I could reach the railroad the enemy, now about 10,000 strong at Point Pleasant, and in considerable numbers at Parkersburg, Clarksburg, and other points which supporting distance, could, by the use of the railroad, be massed on my flank, while at the same time he could come up the Kanawha, to my rear at Gauley, and destroy my army and train. It strikes me as a better movement, to attain substantially the same end, and by a march shorter in distance, and better supplied with subsistence, to move my army, by way of Lewisburg, to Monterey, from whence I could fall on the enemy's flank by the way of Moorefield or Romney, or pass through by Cheat Mountain or Franklin to attack the railroad at Cheat Bridge; and whether my infantry is thus used in the campaign against the railroad or the enemy in the valley, my cavalry, now nearly 1,500 strong, would be sent from this valley to sweep around the route proposed by General Lee for my whole army with a better chance of succeeding in destroying the bridge than a more slowly moving column of infantry. It was, indeed, part of the plan of General Jankins in his late brilliant expedition in the northwest to accomplish just what General Lee desires, but the enemy were too strong for his force at that time. I have also at this time two expeditions moving against the railroad, one against the tunnels near Parkersburg, and one against those near Clarksburg, the success of which will give great security to General Jenkins in the one I propose for him against Cheat Bridge. I will, therefore, unless halted or ordered otherwise, proceed to comply with General Lee's orders in the manner above indicated, viz, by moving my infantry and trains to rear and thence through Monterey, &c., while with my cavalry I will sweep through the northwest. My movement will be