War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0872 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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SWIFT RUN GAP, April 29, 1862.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding C. S. Army:

GENERAL: As I do not believe that Banks will advance on me in my present position, I am disposed, unless you send me large re-enforcements, to adopt one of three plans, viz, either to leave General Ewell here to threaten Banks' rear in the event of his advancing on Staunton, and move with my command rapidly on the force on front of General Edward Johnson, or else, co-operating with General Ewell, to attack the enemy's detached force between New Market and the Shenandoah, and, if successful in this, then to press forward and get in Banks' rear at New Market, and thus induce him to fall back; the third is to pass down the Shenandoah to Sperryville, and thus threaded Winchester via Front Royal. I believe that this would cause the enemy to fall back. From Sperryville, I could that this would course the enemy to fall back. From Sperriville I could move either in the direction of Front Royal, Warrenton, or, if my command should be opposed by too large a Federal force, it could turn off toward Culpeper Court-House. To get in Banks' rear with my present force would be rather a dangerous undertaking, as I would have to cross the river and immediately cross the Massanutten Mountain, during which the enemy would have decidedly the advantage of position. Of the three plans I give the preference to attacking the force west of Stunton, for, if successful, I would afterward only have Banks to contend with, and in doing this would be re-enforced by General Edward Johnson, and by that time you might be able to give me re-enforcements, which, united with the troops now under my control, would enable me to defeat Banks; and if the should be routed and his command destroyed, nearly all our own forces here could, if necessary, cross the Blue Ridge to Warrenton, Fredericksburg, or any other threatened point. I have written to General Edward Johnson to know what force, in addition to his command, would be required for a successful blow in his vicinity. If I receive an answer justifying a move in that direction I may leave here to-morrow via Port Republic.

Please send me part of Alexander's signal corps, if you can spare it; if not, please send me the system of signals, so that I may have persons instructed.

The enemy's signals give him a great advantage over me.

I am, general, your obedient servant,




Swift Run Gap, April 29, 1862.


Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

MY DEAR GENERAL: On Saturday last Banks drove in my pickets, and apprehending that he might advance on me, I ordered up General Ewell, who is now encamped near the eastern base of the Blue Ridge.

Banks has the principal part of his command at Harrisonburg, 18 miles from here.

Very truly, yours, T. J. JACKSON.