HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, February 11, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia, Orange C. H., Va.:
GENERAL: You asked me some weeks since to inform you where any cattle, hogs, sheep, &c., can be procured. Brigadier-General Hodge has just marched through West North Carolina and informs me that he saw large numbers of cattle, hogs, and sheep in the section of country through which he marched. He thinks that even at this late day a quantity of hogs might be slaughtered and salted in that section of country, or they might be driven near this railroad, where slat and transportation would be more convenient. I give you the information for what it is worth. That section of country is beyond my limits, but the Commissary-General might procure any supplies the country affords. That section of country is not as loyal as could be wished, and the people would probably not be willing to take Confederate money, and some force would be necessary to collect the supplies.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
MEADOW STATION, February 12, 1864.
GENERAL: A courier from Barhamsville reports that the enemy was there in heavy cavalry force, advancing rapidly.
W. P. SHINGLER,
HEADQUARTERS, February 12, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
(Through Major-General Stuart):
GENERAL: Your telegraphic dispatch reached me last night, and one from General Elzey came a short time previously. On the reception of the last-named one my command received marching orders, and I telegraphed to General Elzey advising him of this and asking him to give me full information. To this he replied that there was no further information. This morning I again communicated with him and asked if he wished me to go down, but no reply has yet reached me. I should have moved down at the first notice of the approach of the enemy, but for the fact that false alarms constantly came from the Peninsula and my command is in such condition that a hard march would break it down entirely. The last fruitless expedition did my horses much harm. In the North Carolina brigade only the Second Regiment is here, the First being on picket duty, and the major commanding it reports this morning but 65 horses for duty, and in Young's brigade I do not think that more than 350 men can be mounted. I was therefore very unwilling to take my reduced and worn-out command on a march, unless there was an actual necessity for my doing so. I had written thus far when the following dispatch from General Elzey was received:
The enemy have again retired to Williamsburg. No assistance will be required.
As there advances of the enemy seem to be constant, I would suggest that the only mode to stop them would be to have a sufficient