joined the Army of the Potomac. Two corps are said to be with Burnside, and the Twentieth may be one. I have sent a man there to see. There has been some movement of the troops on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad recently. They have gone westward, some report to New Creek, others to Grafton. Averell himself, with his cavalry and some infantry, marched on the road to Romney. His destination is probably Petersburg, whence he may make another expedition. Only one regiment of infantry and two squadrons of cavalry are said to be at Harper's Ferry, and a sufficient garrison at Martinsburg. Their picket-line is drawn close to the railroad. I have warned Generals Breckinridge and Imboden. I am very anxious to get Hoke's and Johnston's brigades back. Their divisions, Early's, and Rodes', are much weakened by their absence. I am holding Longstreet for the present near Cobham till his troops shall all arrive, and until I can ascertain where he will be most required.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, April 23, 1864.
Major General J. E. B. STUART,
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: The commanding general directs me to inform you that, in view of the reports of your scouts and those of General Imboden, he is disposed to believe that Averell contemplates making another expedition, either to Staunton or the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, simultaneously with the general movement of the Federal army. The reduction of the enemy's force on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in the lower valley, has induced the general to direct General Imboden, if he finds it practicable, to endeavor to anticipate the movement of Averell and disconcert his plans by a demonstration against the railroad and the force guarding it in Martinsburg and the lower valley. Should General Imboden attempt this, General Lee thinks that his end might be promoted by the co-operation of Colonel Mosby, and he directs that you will notify the latter to communicate with General Imboden and, if possible, arrange some plan for a combined movement. Great care should be taken to prevent your letter to Mosby from falling into the hands of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
WELDON, N. C., April 23, 1864.
Pursuant to instructions from the War Department, I assume command of the Departments of North Carolina and the Cape Fear. The two departments thus consolidated will be known as the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, and will embrace that portion of the State of North Carolina east of the mountains and that section of the State of Virginia south of the James and Appomattox