Richmond. In this latter event I would leave a covering force here to embarrass General Burnside's advance.
General Geary, on the 4th instant, entered Winchester; but evacuated it in less than an hour, as he stated, for prudential reasons, and retired to Harper's Ferry. Our troops there hold their old positions. One of my objects in destroying the railroads in the region was to prevent the occupation of Winchester by the enemy, this winter at least.
I am reluctant to trouble Your Excellency with my want; but unless the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad is more energetically operated, it will be impossible to supply this army with provisions, and oblige its retirement to Hanover Junction.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, Your Excellency's obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, December 8, 1862.
Colonel J. D. IMBODEN, Commanding,&c.:
COLONEL: Your letter of the 6th, to General Jackson, has been referred to me. I regret that you were prevented by the snow-storm from making your descent upon Colonel Latham. As regards the supply of corn for your horses, I am informed that the Quartermaster-General at Richmond has regulated the prices of all kind of forage at Staunton, which prices will have to be paid until altered by the same authority. Should by not be able to provide properly for your horses, it may be necessary to change your position. There is plenty of forage in Greene, Madison, and Culpeper Counties. General W. E. Jones has been left in command of the valley by General Jackson for the present, with whom you had better kept in communication, as it may be necessary to unite the forces there. Your letter will be forwarded to the Secretary of War, at Richmond.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
[DECEMBER 9, 1862.-For Imboden to President Davis, in reference to Milroy's assessment orders,&c., and resulting correspondence,see Series III.*]
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., December 10, 1862.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
GENERAL: From information received from General R. E. Lee, as well as from other sources, the probabilities are that the enemy contemplate
*Ould to Davidson, January 2, 1863; Davis to Lee, January 7, 1863; Boteler to Seddon, January 9, 1863; Lee to seddon and Halleck, January 10, 1863; Lee to Davis, January 11, 1863; Seddon to Lee, January 12, 1863; Imboden to Seddon, January 13, 1863; Halleck to Lee, January 14, 1863 and Lee to Davis, January 19, 1863.