War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0936 Chapter XXIV. OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD.

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order General Marshall to co-operate with me I am ready to take the offensive. A invasion of Western Virginia, now that the enemy is drafting, will augment my force, it is believed, greatly. With this order to General Marshall my preparations are complete.


Major-General, Commanding.


Monroe County, Va., August 18, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:

SIR: During the brief time which has elapsed since I parted from you at Richmond, and which I have spent in organizing my command and arranging for a movement from this point, I have been impressed with the condition of things in this military department, and have concluded that, with General Loring's permission, I might, without impropriety, address you directly upon the subject.

It seems to me that in case i should meet with success in my movements in the rear of the enemy, and thereby create, as it necessarily would, more or less diversion of the enemy's forces from his front to protect his communications, it would be of the greatest advantage if General Loring could seize the occasion and move immediately forward upon the enemy. Such a movement on the part of General Loring, however fortunate and propitious the occasion might seem, would at the present time be rendered utterly impracticable by the uncertain and anomalous relations existing between General Marshall's command an his own. It is but he simple truth to say that, with the present dubious line of authority on the one side and obedience on the other, General Loring could not predicate a movement upon the co-operation of General Marshall's command; but with the junction of these forces it does seem highly probable that a movement on my part in the enemy's rear could be followed up by an advance by General Loring with reasonable assurances of success. In this connection I will add that there is a very considerable cavalry force in General Marshall's command which, if assigned to my command, I could bring into active efficiency in contemplated movements. That cavalry force would be of very great service if added to my command, but is too small to accomplish anything left to itself. Indeed I would urge upon the Government the great propriety of consolidating in my command all the cavalry in this part of Virginia or which may hereafter be raised in this section, in order that it may be concentrated for sudden and vigorous operations when opportunities offer.

Very respectfully, yours,


Brigadier-General Cavalry.

RICHMOND, VA., August 19, 1862.

General R. E. LEE, Gordonsville, Va.:

We heard yesterday that three brigades were moving from Massaponax Church toward the railroad; this morning the report is contra-