concerned. The magistrates of the county now assembled here recommended that course. Please answer by telegraph to Staunton. Excuse me for repeating that I regard this matter of extreme importance.
JOHN B. BALDWIN.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 14, 1864.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR,
SIR: I have the honor to transmit two communications addressed to me by His Excellency Governor Smith, which I think should rather have been sent to the Department in the first instance. I also forward copies of my replies. These letter require no explanation and are respectfully submitted for such action as you may deem proper. My own views of the subject are sufficiently indicated in my letters to Governor Smith and I will not trouble you with a repetition of them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
OCTOBER 17, 1864.
Respectfully submitted for the consideration of the President. I have no recommendation to make of any change of commander.
J. A. SEDDON,
OCTOBER 18, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.
With less opportunity to learn all the facts than General Lee possessed, I had reached the conclusion which he expresses in regard to the campaign of General Early. With the knowledge acquired after the events it is usually easy to point out modes which would have been better than those adopted. General Early no doubt could, in many instances, show wherein he might have changed his operations to advantage, but this does not prove that another would have foreseen what he did not. A gallant officer, who was with General Early in all his movements until the battle of Winchester, in which he was wounded, has given me a very favorable account of his conduct as a commander, and certainly differs very decidedly from the correspondent of the Governor as to the estimate in which General Early is held by the troops of his command.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
STATE OF VIRGINIA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., October 6, 1864.
General ROBERT E. LEE:
DEAR SIR: The subject of our free conversation on Sunday week has constantly occupied my mind, and has attracted it with deep interest