War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0750 N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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from crossing the Blue Ridge is the apprehension that you will plunge into the rear of their army and cut up their line of communications. Should he cross into the Valley, nothing would call him back sooner than such a move on your part, and it is worthy of your consideration how you could, in that event, most damage him. Should you determine to follow him, Mosby and the Black Horse [Cavalry] might be let loose on his rear, which would, perhaps, produce similar consternation, though not so much harm.

That you may know the progress of events on our right, I inclose report from Captain [M. L.] Randolph, of the signal corps.* If true, enemy must be very strong to re-enforce every point so largely.

Longstreet writes, from prisoners taken, that the Eighth Corps has arrived in his front. Where does that come from? It does not belong to Hooker.

D. H. Hill telegraphs that the army from Charleston has landed at New Berne, and is marching on Kinston, and applies for help.

Doubleday's division, mentioned by Randolph, I presume is the force that marched to Port Conway. A portion crossed in boats brought with them, plundered the inhabitants, stole horses and mules, and carried off some of our citizens. I am afraid the cavalry was negligent. They gave no alarm; did not fire a shot; lost some public horses and two wagons. The citizens gave the alarm. I desire the matter inquired into. I have heard it stated that Colonel [John] Critcher was on the north side of the Rappahannock. I do not know that it is true. By the time General [R. E.] Colston got half-way from his position to Port Royal, they had recrossed, taken up their boats, made, it is said, of light plank, covered with canvas, and moved back. Captain Harding says he had barely time to saddle his horses and clear himself. I fear they were all asleep in the houses. I have heard that was the case previously. It is probable that the enemy was informed of their habit, and the plan laid to catch them.

Very respectfully,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 25, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The Adjutant and Inspector General telegraphed me on the 22nd, saying the President thought I might be able to send you Brigadier-General Jenkins and three of his regiments of cavalry, and asking if I could send them. I immediately replied that I could send Jenkins, and two, perhaps three, regiments, as soon as his horses could be collected.

I can send you three regiments, or two regiments and a battalion.

The cavalry horses which were sent to the rear [chiefly to North Carolina] to be foraged, have not yet been collected, owing to the impracticability of obtaining forage, and the late spring preventing the growth of the grass; and about 1,200 of the men were sent to Saltville a few days since on a false report, started by a murderer, who was making his escape, that 2,500 of the enemy's cavalry were marching on the salt-works. They have been ordered back to their camp, and will immedi-

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*Not found.

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