&c., for which purpose it is presumed there is sufficient in that country. During General Heth's administration the difficulty of foraging the cavalry became so great that he applied that the Eighth Virginia, under Colonel Jenifer, should be transferred from the department. It is still there.
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
Salt Sulphur Springs, W. Va. August 11, 1862.
(Received August 14, 1862.)
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Very recently I wrote to General Marshall asking a delay of his invasion of Kentucky and co-operation in a plan which I therein proposed, to strike a blow at the enemy at Flat Top. At the time I received no reply, General Marshall being, as I learned from the newspapers, at Knoxville, and on to-day I received a letter from him, dated on the 9th instant, reiterating his intention to carry out his original plan-to leave the department. It had occurred to me that this movement would only be attempted while Morgan was at Lexington, and would not be done now that he has left Kentucky. Indeed, the enemy is a few miles in front of General Marshall at Flat Top, where by co-operation with me on the arrival of the re-enforcements mentioned by you to Colonel Fitzhugh, we can perhaps make a successful offensive movement, and it seams to me ill-judged for him to take Virginia regiments into Kentucky in search of other enemies and recruits which he has not yet found of the patriotic Kentuckians, whom he counted on, leaving the enemy in front and their homes and a vital point of the Confederacy, owing to unnecessary division of our forces, totally undefended. Permit me to suggest that the advantage of the public service lies in restoring between General Marshall's command and my own the usual military relations, especially now that the condition of things in Kentucky so little invites invasion, and the Department seems inclined to send me three infantry regiments as re-enforcements, with which and General Marshall's command I think I can drive the enemy from his positions, if not follow him to the Ohio. If I do not succeed in detaining General Marshall my contemplated campaign will be seriously interfered with and the country endangered, unless re-enforcements are sent at once to supply the place of General Marshall's brigade.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
The projected movements of General Marshall are a part of an extensive plan of operations arranged by General Bragg and E. K. Smith. Alone General Marshall could effect nothing; but in co-operation with the columns of General Smith much could be achieved. The withdrawal of the enemy from the Flat Top Mountain seems to present a favorable opportunity to withdraw General Marshall.
G. W. RANDOLPH.