movements for co-operation with you, which will place at your disposal quite an effective force for your proposed campaign, although I regret to observe that his movement cannot be made as promptly as I had hoped.
Since writing to General Loring and receiving the inclosed answer I ambled, by what I deem reliable information, to conclude that a movement it contemplated by the enemy for an attack on you by a rapid concentration of Banks' division, combined with an advance of the force at Romney, which latter are being partially re-enforced. This attack on your command is represented by your spies as part a grand combined movement to be made on our whole army, by Banks on our left, [by-] on right at Evansport, and McClelland in front-the latter holding back his advance until he can hear of the success of his lieutenants on either or both wings. This may not be true, but prudence requiring that no time shall be lost, I have telegraphed General Loring to-day to move his whole to Winchester as rapidly as possible, and if successful in joining you promptly you may be able to turn the tables handsomely on the enemy by anticipating his purpose. As soon as you are joinder by General Loring's I shall hope thence forward to receive the regural monthly report required by the Army Regulations with punctuality.
It will be by pleasure at all times to use all the resources at my command in aiding your movements whenever apprised of any deficiency that our limited means enable me to supply.
Your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN ARMY,
Huntersville, va., November 29, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th instant, inclosing one from Major-General Jackson, when on a tour of inspection to my hospital in rear.
The policy of marching a force from Winchester or that vicinity in the direction of Romney was the subject off conversation between General Lee and myself during the recent campaign of this purpose.
I consider a winter campaign practicable it the means or transportation sufficient to move this army can be obtained, and especially in a country where supplies are abundant,which I an informed int he communication inclosed in your letter is the case in that section of Western Virginia where in your letters is the case in that section of Western Virginia where it is proposed to operate. With warm clothing good tents, and proper attention by the regimental and company officers there need be no suffering from the climate in that region.
I consider that it os proper that I should place you the present disposition of this army, made with to the defense of our extended line. The passes now guarded are at Alleghany on the Staunton and at Huntersville on the Millborough turnpike, besides the approaches on the right in front of Franklin and on the left from Summersville and that section on the Lewisburg and Marlin Bottom turnpike-the whole distance between one and two hundred miles. The enemy is strongly fortified on Chet Mountain, and at Crouche's, on this turnpike, and had a short time since about 8,000 men at and near these places. To-day reliable returned from the vicinity of these point, and