War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0611 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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a train, with the engine always fired up. If I can get a regiment of cavalry, supported by 600 or 800 infantry, I would be very glad to attempt to destroy the bridge, and might capture some of the enemy. I write to inquire whether I shall attempt it if, upon reconnaissance, I think it practicable. My orders do not cover this point. Should it be deemed proper for me to make this attack, I would like to have authority, in General Lee's name, to get such troops as I can find about here. Please send me written orders.

I am, very respectfully,

J. THOMPSON BROWN,

Colonel, &c.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Charleston, W. Va., September 18, 1862.

(Received September 29, 1862.)

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The owners of the Kanawha slat works report that many of their furnaces are idle, owing to the fact that they have no coal with which to run their furnaces. To obtain coal they require some blasting powder, which it is not in my power to furnish. I, therefore, request that the Chief of Ordnance be directed to send 100 kegs to this place, to be issued by major Marye, chief of ordnance, in such quantities as the works may require. If the Ordnance Department have not the quantity to spare on the receipt of this, it would be well to forward as much as can be furnished as rapidly as possible.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Indorsements.]

Referred to Chief of Ordnance. Can blasting powder be supplied?

G. W. RANDOLPH.

The Niter and Mining Bureau has already been directed to send 750 pounds of blasting powder to General Loring for blasting purposes. It is all that can be spared.

J. GORGAS.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Charleston, W. Va., September 19, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

SIR: If I can carry out the instructions previously given to me, to march toward the Valley of Virginia, my only direction lies close to the Northwestern Railroad, frequently within one day's march of it, by which the enemy could mass their troops and destroy my army. Escaping this, my only access into the valley is by Beverly, now strongly fortified and held by General Kelley. Though the country to be traversed is rich in places, yet, in a rapid march through it, I must carry my subsistence and other stores in my trains. The roads are difficult, the distance very great, and the exposure of my troops, tired and straggling, to fresh troops of the enemy, massed by the railroad, renders the march hazardous.