RICHMOND, VA., October 18, 1862.
His Excellency Governor LETCHER,
Glade Springs, W. Va.:
General Loring has been relieved from his command, and his forces, under General Echols, ordered back to the Kanawha Valley, with orders to make its defense his first object.
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
GILES COURT-HOUSE, W. VA., October 18, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH:
Your letter of instructions, dated September 30, reached me only on the afternoon of the 17th instant. Your order, relieving me of command, reached me on the 16th instant. Captain Myrick, who bore your letter of instructions, missed me by taking the wrong route.
W. W. LORING,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Camp near Winchester, Va., October 18, 1862.
Brigadier General GEORGE H. STEAURT,
GENERAL: The enemy retired yesterday afternoon from Leetown and Charlestown, the points which their respective columns from opposite Shepherdstown and Harper's Ferry reached. From information received last night, I believe the former recrossed the Potomac at the ford below Sheptherdstown, and the latter withdrew to Harper's Ferry. I wish you would persecute vigorously the police of Winchester and the hospitals. Continue to send back the serious cases of sick to Staunton. Convalescents must be returned to their regiments when able to resume duty. I have been informed that the medical is granting wholesale furloughs to men in hospitals. This is wrong; none ought to be furloughed but such as really require it. I have sent scouts to Wardensville, the Cacapon Bridge, and points in that direction, to give notice of any approach of enemy's cavalry from Hancock or Cumberland, with directions to communicative with you. I have thought it possible that an expedition similar to Stuart's might be attempted, passing near Front Royal and crossing the Blue Ridge. The enemy's cavalry yesterday came up as far as Paris and Snickersville from Loudon. I wish you would be on the alert, and keep your Maryland troops and others with you prepared for any emergency.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 18, 1862.
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III. A court of inquiry, at the request of Major J. H. Lowe, Thirty-first Georgia Regiment, composed of Colonel James A. Walker, Thirteenth Virginia Regiment; Lieutenant Colonel William Monaghan, Sixth Louisiana