War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 1080 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,M., AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Cluseret, commanding this force, turned down Lost River, at Harper's Mill, coming into the valley at Strasburg, and marching for Winchester. His cavalry, infantry, and artillery all amounted to about 2,500 men; probably 1,000 more joined him from below.

After the move up the valley, the condition of my commissariat did not admit of anything more than at attempt of annoyance. So, with a regiment of cavalry and a battery, I went as far as Kernstown, hoping for an attack from their cavalry. A slight skirmish, without results on either side, was all their prudence would admit of. To avoid an attack on our rear by way of Strasburg, my command was withdrawn to that vicinity, and I have returned here to see what can be done toward driving Milroy from Petersburg and Moorefield.

Inclosed I send you copies of his recent orders, which, for harshness and cruel injustice, rival the best efforts of Pope and Butler.

A few of our stragglers were captured and paroled. The number is not yet ascertained. We captured a major of the Tenth [West] Virginia (Peirpoint's), and I have just telegraphed to Richmond to detain him until the inclosed orders can arrive.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.


Brigadier General W. E. JONES,

Commanding Valley District:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 26th has been received. By the inclosed order you will see that you are assigned to the command of the Valley District. I wish you to take all measures for its protection, and to endeavor to rally around you the citizens of the west for their defense. I hope Colonel Imboden will soon have his command increased to a brigade, and will be able to render you valuable increased to a brigade, and will be able to render you valuable assistance.

The enemy, if possible, must not be allowed to remain on the South Branch of the Potomac, but most be driven across the Potomac River. You must make every exertion to keep you troops supplied with provisions and your animals with forage, so as to move promptly wherever and whenever circumstances require it.

As regards the price paid for con, you must regulate it upon principles of fairness to the farmer and to the Government. It will be better to establish a uniform price throughout the valley for flour and forage; and you must consult the instructions given in the matter by the Quartermasters and Commissary General at Richmond.

Please send me a report of all the troops in the valley as soon as possible, and also an approximate statement of the provisions and forage to be obtained there. If by any means you could cut off the enemy's communication with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, it seems to me he could not retain his position where he now is.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,





No. 281.

December 29, 1862.

I. Brigadier General W. E. Jones, during the absence of Lieutenant-General