his position and movements, and inflict upon him such damage as circumstances will permit. I recommend that you cross the river as low down as you can without disclosing your purpose, leaving the upper fords for your return. At this inclement season, I need not suggest to you the propriety of selecting such men and horses only as can undergo the expedition, and of taking ever other precaution for their comfort and safety.
I have directed 5,000 bushels of corn and 5,000 rations of hard bread to be placed at Culpeper Court-House, to your order.
Commending you, under Heaven, to the guidance of your good judgment and discretion, I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
RICHMOND, VA., December 23, 1862.
Colonel J. D. IMBODEN,
First Virginia Partisan Rangers, Camp Hood, Hardy County, W. Va., via Staunton, Va.:
COLONEL: Under the various orders which from time to time have been given yourself and others relative to the raising and organizing of troops in Western Virginia, much confusion and difficulty have arisen, and with the view of harmonizing these difficulties, and rendering the branch of the service with which you have been connected still more effective, the Secretary of War directs me to invite your co-operation in an endeavor to change your entire present organization from partisan rangers to a regular command for the war. You will be intrusted with the reorganization of the whole force in the section of country in which you are now engaged, and authorized to fill up the old companies and regiments with conscripts, and to recruit all the man you can from counties within the enemy's lines and also from non-conscripts. From the energy and zeal you have displayed in the service, the Department has no hesitation in committing to you this important undertaking, and it is hoped, in view of the public interests, that you will at once signify your willingness to make the desired change and engage in the new duties proposed. Should you do this, all former orders for the organization of troops in the disputed country will be withdrawn. Of course, it is understood that the consent of the men now enrolled as partisan rangers must be obtained before the desired change can be undertaken, and this consent it will be necessary for you to secure as a preliminary step in the matter.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin Depot, W. Va., December 24, 1862.
Major E. A. PAFREY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:
General Marshall has made no report of his force nor General Jenkins of his cavalry. Exclusive of their commands, there are five regiments