and the price low. The depot did well, but failed, as most depots always do, not act on a sufficiently extensive scale. It will require a great effort, and an increased expense now, to supply our wants. Still, I shall not fail.
The animals are in good order generally. Forage in quantities is on the way. The country in which this army has operated is exhausted of all kinds of forage. The country between the Potomac and the Rappahannock for 20 miles below here here has been stripped. Had we succeeded in our attempt to move on, we might then have procured much fodder from the Peninsulas.
There shall be no failure on my part.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Marietta, December 17, 1862.
Brigadier General B. F. KELLEY,
GENERAL: I have this morning received a copy of a dispatch from General Halleck to General Wright, notifying him of your appointment to command the forces on the whole of the Upper Potomac. I am heartily glad that your command is thus to be enlarged, and that you will have the opportunity to carry out your plans for the protection of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which can only be done by extending your control to Harper's Ferry and Leesburg. You may rely upon me for every assistance in my power to give. My judgment would be that your western limit should include New Creek; then I could organize all the forces from Grafton to Sutton and this side into a brigade, with headquarters, say, at Clarksburg or Buckhannon, giving attention to the protection of the Cheat Mountain region and interior of the country, whilst they could also be rapidly concentrated to aid you at New Creek, in case of need. At all events, it is important that the matter should be definitely arranged, and the arrangement which will enable you most efficiently to do your work will be that which will best please me.
I would suggest that you communicate with General Halleck, and his determination, when made, can reach me through ordinary channels. It will require probably the amount of force at present this side of the mountains to secure the quiet of Northwestern Virginia, which, leaving you your present command east of New Creek, Milroy's division east of that point, and the forces now assigned you, would give you a much more satisfactory force than you have hitherto had for your work.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
HEADQUARTERS HARPER'S FERRY, December 17, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I was placed in command here, by Major-General Morel, on the 11th instant. General Kelley is not here, nor do I know when he is expected.
JOHN R. KENLY,