War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0981 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--CONFEDERATE.

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Captain Erdling to guard McClellan's Bridge. The enemy have disappeared. I don't think they were in strong force.

M. W. GARY,

Colonel, Commanding.

[36.]

BOTTOM'S BRIDGE, June 2, 1864.

Major T. O. CHESTNEY,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

The pickets at McClellan's Bridge report a large column of cavalry advancing in the direction of Bottom's Bridge.

M. W. GARY,

Colonel, Commanding Cavalry.

[36.]

MOUNT CRAWFORD,

June 2, 1864. (Via Staunton.)

General R. E. LEE:

General Hunter, with eight regiments of cavalry, ten regiments of infantry, and thirty pieces of artillery, drove me out of Harrisonburg last evening. General Crook reached Covington at 6 p. m. yesterday. He is moving in concert. I have about 3,000 men and ten guns, and will fight to the last at this point. I have obstructed and fortified the fords. My artillery ammunition is exhausted and none at Staunton. A flank movement by Hunter's cavalry through Brown's Gap on Charlottesville to Staunton is practicable and apprehended by me. Is it possible for you to give additional aid to the Valley?

J. D. IMBODEN,

Brigadier-General.

[37.]

RICHMOND, June 2, 1864.

Major General J. C. BRECKINRIDGE:

DEAR SIR: In a conversation with Mr. Hunter to-day the President expressed a desire to transfer General Echols to the temporary command of your department. Accompanying this is a letter to General Lee, which you will please read, and if consistent with your own views indorse, as I am sure an expression of opinion upon your part will determine General Lee's action.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

A. T. CAPERTON.

[Inclosure.]

RICHMOND, June 2, 1864.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: Those of us who are acquainted with the character of General Echols' constitution are satisfied that in his present condition he will not be fit for active field service for some time. He has for some years been laboring under an organic affection of the heart, which has been much aggravated by the exposure and fatigue which he has lately undergone. The President to-day intimated a desire, if your consent was had, to place him in the command of the Department of Southwestern Virginia during the absence of General Breckinridge. I trust there will be no insuperable obstacle in your judgment. His brigade, in the hands of Colonel Patton, will be ably managed. He has already handled it in an important fight, and according to the testimony of