HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, May 28, 1863.
General R. E. LEE:
GENERAL: I received to-day a letter of the 21st instant from your assistant adjutant-general, in reply to mine of the 12th instant, in regard to the Fiftieth Virginia Regiment.
Your understanding of the circumstances under which that regiment was sent to you is entirely correct. The Fiftieth was to remain with you until the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first [Virginia] returned. The two last-named regiments are now under you command, General Imboden having returned with them to his old camp, where I ordered him, under instructions from the Secretary of War, to report to you.
But I am not at all disposed to be exacting with you, general; the success of your army I regard as of the first importance, and i am disposed to aid and strengthen you from my own command as far as I can with safety to my own department. If you are very desirous to retain the Fiftieth, do so, and I hope it will do good service. But let me have it as soon as you think you can spare it.
I do not exactly understand the status of General Imboden and his command. Does he report directly to you? Is he to operate in the Valley, or west of his present camp. If the latter, eh should report to me, and be under my orders. He captured something over 165 mules and 32 wagons at Summerville, all of which he took with him out of my department, though I contributed to his expedition two-thirds of the men.
With great respect and esteem general, your obedient servant,
May 29, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
GENERAL: [D. H.] Hill says he has reported to you as to condition in North Carolina.
Two Withdraw Ransom's, Cooke's, and Jenkins' brigades is to abandon the country to the enemy, if last information be correct.
[M.] Jenkins' brigade was exchanged for the one which had previously guarded the approach across the Blackwater, and which is understood to have gone up with General Pickett.
Ransom has been promoted, to relieve General French, ordered to Mississippi.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, May 29, 1863.
Colonel [H. B.] DAVIDSON,
Commanding Post, Staunton, Va.:
Have you or can you summon any force to capture or disperse deserters said to be assembled in the mountains in Albemarle and Rockingham Counties? if not, ascertain and report numbers, and from what command they could best be approached.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.