serving there seem to be impressed with its magnitude. If I felt sure of our ability to resist the advance of the enemy south of that river, it would relieve me of great embarrassment, and I should feel better able to oppose the operations which may be contemplated by General Burnside. I presume that the operations in the Department of the West and South will require all the troops in each, but, should there be a full of the war in these departments, it might be advantageous to leave a sufficient covering force to conceal the movement, and draw an active, when the exigency arrives, to the vicinity of Richmond. Provisions and forage in the mean time could be collected in Richmond. When the crisis shall have passed, these troops could be returned to their departments with re-enforcements.
I need not state to you the advantages of a combination of our troops for a battle, if it can be accomplished, and, unless it can be done, we must make up our minds to fight with great odds against us.
I hope Your Excellency will cause me to be advised when, in your judgment, it may become necessary for this army to move nearer Richmond. It was never in better health or in better condition for battle than now. Some shoes, blankets, arms, and accouterments are still wanting, but we are occasionally receiving small supplies, and I hope all will be provided in time.
There was quite a fall of snow yesterday, which will produce some temporary discomfort.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., December 6, 1862.
Major General SAMUEL JONES, Commanding:
SIR: I inclose a copy of a letter just received from General Lee, giving late information of the forces of the enemy threatening the valley, and their position. You will observe his request, that you be informed of the intelligence, and the suggestion that, in case General Cox has left the Kanawha Valley, our forces near Lewisburg might be advantageously employed under General W. E. Jones. You will probably be informed of the force of the enemy in the Kanawha, and can likewise judge better than the Department here of the correctness of the intelligence communicated through General W. E. Jones, and, therefore, the discretion is committed to you to determine whether or to what extent the forces near Lewisburg may be advantageously employed under General W. E. Jones. You will act in the matter as your judgment, aided by a fuller knowledge of your own position and that the enemy, may dictate.
With great esteem and respect, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, December 5, 1862.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
SIR: A report from Colonel Imboden, on the Shenandoah Mountains, states that the enemy, who have recently been threatening Staunton, have fallen back beyond Beverly, leaving a guard of about 200 men at that place. There are none of the enemy at Moorefield, one company