NARROWS, March 6, 1864.
Major C. S. STRINGFELLOW:
I see by the dispatch of General Breckinridge that General Echols is directed to call upon me for aid in the raid he reports. My artillery and wagon horses have all been sent to the rear, into Bland and Pulaski Counties, and if I am expected to move they must be sent for at once and I must have corn sent to this place or I cannot move. Let me know what I am to do. I moved to Union in the last raid,and it would have been much better if I had not gone. I suggest the propriety of my orders coming from department headquarters.
Colonel, Commanding, &c.
[MARCH 8, 1864 - For Lee to Longstreet, relative to combined movement of Johnston's and Longstreet's forces into Middle Tennessee, &c., see Vol. XXXII, Part III, p. 594.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, March 9, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to the importance of a speedy organization of the minutemen in the counties bordering on the Allegheny Ridge, for the protection of the agricultural and minding interests of that valuable region. General Imboden has sent me a plan of apportionment of these counties for the formation of regiments, which I approve. He thinks that five regiments from Page, Shenandoah, Hardy, and such portions of the counties lower down as we can control, with its rendezvous at Woodstock; a second regiment from Rockingham, Pendleton, and Highland, with its rendezvous at Harrisonburg; the third from Augusta and Bath, with headquarters at Staunton; the fourth from Rockbridge and Allegheny, rendezvous at Lexington or some more convenient point; the fifth from Botetourt, Roanoke, and Craig, with headquarters at Salem, Buchanan, or Fincastle, or such point as may be selected. These regiments, organized under good commands, with proper rendezvous to be assigned for the different battalions in case of alarm, with a good system of signaling, ought to be able to protect the valley and punish severely raiding parties of the enemy. I would suggest that the Conscript Bureau send active and efficient officers into the counties aforesaid in order to perfect the organization of these regiments as speedily as practicable.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
MARCH 11, 1864.
Efficient measures should be taken to effect the enrollment and speedy organization of the men in the district referred to by General Lee. I should, however, prefer the battalion organization.
J. A. S.,
Secretary of War.