Shenandoah Valley. It is believed that no movement in force will be made by the enemy across the mountains during the winter, and General Halleck entertains the same opinion. Can't Crook's entire division be spared?
H. G. WRIGHT,
MARIETTA, December 13, 1862-2.30 p.m.
Major N. H. McLEAN,
Chief of Staff, Cincinnati:
No report yet from Crook. His division is scattered along the north bank of the Kanawha; can probably be moved most readily by water from Charleston to Parkersburg; then by rail. Had the river enabled us to get sixty or ninety days' supplies at Gauley in advance, I should think it easy to spare that division. Scammon's is enough to hold the front of the valley, but the long stretch of country to the Kentucky line has required Crook's command to be active to prevent raids into the river. I have also thought that till the new State question is settled by the final vote in Western Virginia, it is advisable to keep a heavy force there to produce the feeling of security, as the leading men predict a new flight of the loyal citizens on the appearance of removing our troops, and, from my own knowledge of the people, I think it will be so. If the rebels, by extraordinary effort, can prevent the election on that question, they will doubtless do so.
It is raining here this afternoon.
J. D. COX,
Cincinnati, Ohio, December 13, 1862-12.45 a.m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
On receipt of your dispatch of yesterday, I telegraph to General Cox to send such troops as could be spared from the Kanawha to the Point and for the purpose indicated by you, suggesting that the division of General Crook might be spared. I have just heard from General Cox, who thinks it not prudent to move the division at present, and General Crook agrees in that opinion. The former represents that, until the weather becomes bad, the enemy may interrupt the long line now guarded by Crook, and cut off supplies, which cannot be accumulated much in advance until the Kanawha River rises, and that it is to be feared that loyal citizens will leave the country on any appearance of the withdrawal of our forces, particularly as the new State question will incite the rebels to extraordinary efforts to prevent the election. These reasons are all sound, but whether they should control I cannot say, as I do not, of course, fully understand the necessity for the accumulation of forces in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry. I prefer waiting a while, if permissible, before sending any of the troops out of the Kanawha.
H. G. WRIGHT,
54 R R-VOL XXI