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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 2 (Antietam)
Page 634 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

to me, as soon as possible, the names of such as you prefer for lieutenant-general;l also those for major-general and brigadier-general to the extent required for the organization of your army. I have steadily urged the prompt enrollment of conscripts to fill up the thinned ranks of you regiments, and directed special attention to the counties of Western Virginia, in which but little had been done, because of the presence of the enemy. The report to me has been for the past week about 500 men, convalescents included, sent forward from this place. General Loring had not, when last heard from, left Charleston, on the Kanawha. His progress seems slow, but he may be, for good though unknown causes, detained in the valley.

My purpose was, after the expulsion of the enemy, to leave Brigadier-General Jenkins with the cavalry to protect the country, whole General Loring advanced to join you, moving by way of Grafton, and destroying the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the tunnels of the western slope unless it should be found that his junction with you would be much delayed by taking that route, in which event the Secretary of War was instructed to direct him to return by way of Jackson River and go down instructed to direct him to return by way of Jackson River and go down instructed to direct him to return by way of Jackson River and go down the Valley of the Shenandoah. I hope the supply of shoes, which the Quartermaster-General was directed to send to Winchester, has reached you and relieved our barefooted soldiers. Attention has been called to your recommendations for the use of boxes, instead of barrels, for hard bread. General Smith keeps you advised of movements in this direction, and Colonel Chambliss has been instructed to communicate directly to you any information obtained of the enemy between the Rappahannock and the Potomac. The reports which reach us indicate a purpose either to renew the attempt to advance from Alexandria, aided by a movement from Suffolk, or by demonstration there to crate a diversion in favor of McClellan's army. The feverish anxiety to invade the North has been relieved by the counter-irritant of apprehension for the safety of the capital in the absence of the army, so long criticized for a "want of dash," and the class who so vociferously urged a forward movement, in which they were not personally to be involved, would now be most pleased to welcome the return of that army. I hope their fears are as poor counselors as was their presumption, and believe the parties sent out from Alexandria and thereabouts are probably for reconnaissance and plunder, and that the collection of troops at Suffolk is mainly for instruction. It might, however, very well occur that if no check was found to larger and more advanced operations that they would be attempted. Colonel Lee has no doubt joined you, and communicated more fully in relation to our condition and my views than it is prudent to write. I am alike happy in the confidence felt in your ability, and your superiority to outside clamor, when the uninformed assume to direct the movements of armies in the field. The Congress has postponed its adjournment until the Monday of next week. The conscript bill has been amended so as to extend the age to forty five. In Kentucky we are getting recruits rapidly; 2,300 had joined at last report. The prospect is improving in Maryland. General Taylor has obtained several thousand men in Louisiana, and was about to commence sending to you detachments of 500 of a time. In the name of the Confederacy, I thank you and the brave men of your army for the deeds which have covered our flag with imperishable fame.

Your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.


Page 634 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 2 (Antietam)
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