CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 1.
January 1, 1864.
A furlough of thirty days will be granted to every enlisted man who shall secure to any company of the Army of Northern Virginia an able-bodied recruit, physically qualified to perform the duties of a soldier, of good moral character, who is not a deserter or absent without leave from any other command, who could be received under ordinary circumstances under the regulations of the War Department governing enlistments, who shall enlist unconditionally for the war, and actually be present and ready to report for duty with his command.
By command of General R. E. Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
LOST RIVER, January 1, 1863 .
Major-General EARLY, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Arrived here last night. Found mountain covered with snow some 2 inches deep. The ascent and descent were very steep, and road very slippery and bad. Have heard nothing from my artillery. Ordered it to get as far up mountain as possible last night and encamp and try and cross to-day. I hardly think they will succeed. Can hear nothing of wagons, either. They will be obliged to come through Brock's Gap, I expect, and it a question when they will catch me. The road I traversed is almost impracticable for vehicles, so steep and slippery. I am afraid General Lee has had erroneous information about the supplies of this country. My investigations so far show only some cattle on Patterson's Creek. My force is only now about 1,150 or 1,200 men; the force at Petersburg is between 800 and 900 infantry and four pieces of artillery.
I will have to wait so long for my artillery it will be doubtful whether I can do anything toward capturing or defeating them. In the mean time information will be given, teams will be doubled, and I will have to leave. If you could spare more force and send it to me something might be achieved. The severe weather and recent hard trip is telling on my men and horses, and their number is diminishing daily.
P. S.- The great expedition to supply the army I am very much afraid will be a failure. First, because there is nothing in the country, and secondly, not enough people to capture them from enemy.
HEADQUARTERS IMBODEN'S BRIGADE,
January 1, 1863 .
Major General J. A. EARLY, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: The wagons sent by Major Bell have not yet arrived. I expect them to-night. From present information of the force at