forward your advance to Rappahannock Station, and cross the cavalry over the river, the enemy would hesitate long before making a forward movement. Should, however, the condition of your corps, the weather, or other circumstances render this movement unadvisable, you can proceed, by easy marches, through Gordonsville or Orange Court-House, to join me here.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, November 25, 1862.
Brigadier General R. A. PRYOR, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 23rd instant has just been received.* I regret my inability to detach from this army the two regiments you desire to constitute a brigade, to operate on the Blackwater, under your command. As far as I am able to judge, troops are more wanted here than there, and it might be better to bring the troops which it is contemplated to unite with those in question to this army. I regretted, at the time, the breaking up of your former brigade, but you are aware that the circumstances which produced it were beyond my control. The Sixty-first Virginia has, in accordance with the desire of the colonel and regiment, been attached to Mahone's brigade, which was organized from the section of country from which it came. I hope it will not be long before you will be again in the field, that the country may derive the benefit of your zeal and activity. I thought, and still think, that your services would be more valuable to the country south of James River, after your brigade was dismembered, and that troops could be organized in that region sufficient to form your command.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va., November 25, 1862.
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VIII. Major General Samuel Jones, Provisional Army, is assigned to the command of the Trans-Allegheny or Western Department of Virginia, extending west to the eastern boundary of Kentucky and as far west of that boundary as circumstanced may allow. He will repair to The Narrow of the New River and assume the command. He will give his attention to the protection of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad against any encroachments of the enemy, and will make such use of the forces under Brigadier-General Marshall, at Abingdon, and of the troops at other places within his command as in his judgment the best interests of the service may require.
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By command of the Secretary of War: