If Colonel O'Neal desires duty is some other army I will interpose no objection. I regret that he feels that injustice has been done him here. I have a just appreciation of his gallantry and worth. I recommended another officer to the command of the brigade because I believed him better qualified to perform the duties of the position. General Rodes' whole division acted at Chancellorsville with distinguished gallantry, and that officer owes his promotion to General Jackson's observation of his skill and conduct, and you will see in my report of that battle that one of his dying messages to me was to the effect that General Rodes should be promoted major-general and his promotion should date from May 2. He has commanded his division with success and ability, and I am gratified to state that his division has re-enlisted for the war, Battle's brigade, of Alabama, having set the example. Instead of raising new brigades, I think it would be far better to recruit to the fullest number those veteran brigades whose while conduct is worthy of the admiration of their countrymen.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
WILLIAMSPORT, January 31, 1864.
[General J. A. EARLY:]
GENERAL: The Yankees have all gone to New Creek. Greenland Gap is open. There are not many cattle in this country, and it will take some time to get them up and cut. I will go down to Burlington to-morrow morning and will send Gilmor and McNeill across the mountain. I think I can be able to destroy the railroad at Patterson's Creek, but I fear that if I undertake it I will not be able to get out the cattle. You see that I will attack Cumberland. I am uneasy about Averell. He will move out from Martinsburg, and I think will occupy Romney and make it very dangerous for me about the mouth of Patterson's Creek. If you will move a force to Romney i will be perfectly safe and will be able to do good service. I desire to break the railroad, and I also desire to get all the cattle in the country. I can deceive the enemy on my way down without trouble, and if nothing opposes me but infantry I can come out all right; but if Averell comes up, and I think we must expect him off, and I will ruin the railroad above. Please let me hear from you to-night. If you will move to Romney to-morrow, or even the next day, I will go to the railroad to-morrow night.
Most respectfully, yours &c.,
T. L. ROSSER,
NARROWS, January 31, 1864.
Major General SAMUEL JONES:
The enemy have advanced a force to Raleigh Court-House. It is estimated by some as a regiment and by others at 3,000 men. They scouted to Pack's Ferry yesterday. I will soon know all about them. I can hardly think that they meditate anything serious.