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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 40, Part 2 (Richmond, Petersburg)
Page 709 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
July 1, 1864.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR, Richmond:

SIR: I have the honor to call your attention to the importance of keeping open the Virginia Central Railroad, not only to bring supplies from the Valley but to facilitate military operations in that quarter. I am informed that the road is now completed to Staunton, or within a short distance of it. I respectfully recommend that a force of reserves be placed at the bridge over the South Anna and also those over the Rima River. There is a company of cavalry commanded by a Captain Anderson in Hanover, which might be employed in scouting to give notice of the approach of danger. So far as I know there is no enemy north of the James who would be likely to attempt to break the road, unless there be some cavalry on the Peninsula. There is a small body of cavalry near Fairfax Court-House. I think the presence of the reserves would deter the enemy from sending small parties to break the road, and if they detach troops from their main body for the purpose it will enable us to re-enforce the guard.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,

Richmond, Va., July 2, 1864.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 1st instant, calling my special attention to the importance of guarding the line of the Central Railroad. I have lost no time in conferring with General Kemper, in command of the reserves, and have arranged with him as far as the resources of his command will allow promptly to carry out your suggestions. The cavalry company in Hanover had already been ordered to assemble for the purpose you indicated, and companies of the reserve will be placed at the bridges designated by you.

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,

Richmond, Va., July 2, 1864.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: I presume the large number of slaves lately recaptured by our troops from the marauding cavalry of the enemy are more burdensome than useful in Petersburg or with the army, and, besides, are difficult of reclamation by the owners, most of whom will, probably, be averse to visiting Petersburg at this time. On the other hand, the active laborers among them could be made very useful assistants in the placed within reach of their owners by being sent up on the line of the road. I therefore take the liberty of suggesting such disposition of all, but especially of the laborers, and to avoid delay in case of your approval, send over Lieutenant L. A. Dade, of the Engineer Corps, to arrange for their transport and to take charge of them. I am anxious, also, to command move wagons and ambulances on the road, both to carry the mail and establish a portage for grain over the break in the road, and


Page 709 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 40, Part 2 (Richmond, Petersburg)
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