will probably be by the route of the Big Sandy, which is isolated and without communication, into the flank of the enemy, advancing by Cumberland Gap or by the road to Dublin Depot, and will be without influence or advantage to the defense of this department. The withdrawal of his force from mine, already inferior to the enemy's in our front on Flat Top, leaves to the enemy free access to the fruitful valley between the Cumberland and Clinch Mountains, and eventually, by a combined movement from Cumberland Gap and Flat Top, the possession of the salt-works and the railroad also. I therefore respectfully and earnestly recommend that this movement of General Marshall's be suspended until re-enforcements arrive, so that by combined action before his withdrawal the enemy can be destroyed and the safety of the country secured in his absence; and that the re-enforcements heretofore asked for-the occasion for having which is now more urgent then ever-be sent at once.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
Referred to General Lee.
Orders will be given immediately to Colonel Starke's regiment to report to General Loring. I am about to nominate to the President Colonel A. G. Jenkins as brigadier-general, to command the cavalry of General Lorings' department. Will it not be well to suspend General Marshall's movement? A small expedition of infantry will effect nothing and will run great risk of being captured. If General Marshall co-operates with General Loring, and the two North Carolina regiments of Gibbs and Godwin join, I understand from Colonel Fitzhugh, of his staff, that General Loring will take the offensive.
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS, August 5, 1862.
If General Marhall could have moved when Colonel Morgan was in Kentucky I think it would have been highly advantageous. If it is true that Morgan has retired it may now be too late. I cannot judge at this distance of the temper of the people. General marshall and General Loring have better opportunities. It may now be better for those two officers to unite, if they can sweep the enemy out of the valley and then enter Kentucky together.
It may be necessary to re-enforce General Loring, but it is a bad time to diminish this army.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
August 4, 1862.
Major General THOMAS J. JACKSON,
Commanding Valley District:
GENERAL: I have just received your letter of this date. The letter* of Mr. T. Scott, which I have read with much interest, I return. It