RICHMOND, July 9, 1863.
General SAMUEL JONES,
Dublin Station, Va.:
Move at once with the force ordered, via Charlottesville and Staunton, to Winchester, where you will receive further orders.
Reply immediately by telegraph.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
RICHMOND, july 9, 1863.
General R. E. LEE.
Commanding, & c.
Intelligence of the presence of the enemy near Williamsport has induced me, with a view to cover your communication, to order General Sam. Jones, with 3, 000 infantry and two batteries of artillery, to proceed to Winchester, where he will receive your orders.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
July 9, 1863.
Major General GEORGE E. PICKETT,
GENERAL: Your letter of the 8th has been received.
It was with reluctance that I imposed upon your gallant division the duty of conveying prisoners to Staunton. I regretted to assign them to such service, as well as to separate them from the army, though temporarily, with which they have been so long and efficiently associated. Though small in numbers, their worth is not diminished, and I had supposed that the division itself would be loth to part from its comrades at a time when the presence of every man is so essential, I therefore felt gratified to be able to assign to the charge of the prisoners a portion of General Imboden`s command, which I thought could be better spared from the army at this time, and enable him to muster into service some newly organized companies that have been completed since he left Staunton, shoe his horses, and return to the army more quickly than an infantry force.
It would also spare your division a long and disagreeable march.
These were the reasons that governed me, and, in mu opinion, are the best for the public service. I regret that it has occasioned you and your officers any disappointment. If circumstances permitted, I should be glad to allow your division to move to Winchester, if it would afford any gratification or benefit, but I need not tell you how essential it is not to diminish this army by a single man, if possible. I still have the greatest confidence in your division, and feel assured that with you at its head, it will be able to accomplish any service upon which it may be placed. You can send an efficient officer with a portion of your division that you may assign as a guard to the prisoners, as far as Winchester, with directions there to collect all your convalescents and others, and to return to you as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I trust you will lend all your energies as well as those of your division to sending off our wounded prisoners and all