HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, W. Va., December 31, 1862.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: If the troops recently ordered from this department to Rich mond are no longer needed for the defense of the capital, or if the general interest of the service will permit, I respectfully ask that, they or any other equal number of other troops, be sent to me. All and more than all the troops I found in this department are needed for the defense of the lines we now hold. If I may rely on the comments and tone of the Northern papers, their recent disaster at Fredericksburg and the failure of General Foster's expedition in North Carolina will, in all probability, prevent any other general movement on Richmond this winter. They may, in the mean time, attempt to reach and destroy the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and the salt-works in Wythe and Smyth Counties, and also to advance their lines so as to embrace a larger portion of Western than they now hold. This last supposition is strengthened, I think, by the passage of the bill admitting Western Virginia as a separate State into Mr. Lincoln's Government. I am extremely to leave the counties of Greenbrier and Monroe so exposed as I found them on a recent visit. If the troops I ask for are sent to me, I think from the information I have of the enemy's forces, that I can at least protect the railroad and hold the enemy's outposts where they now are. It will be of great advantage to us to have undisputed possession of the rich lands of Greenbrier of Monroe when the spring opens. I should prefer having some other troops than those I sent from the department. I do not mean by this to reflect injuriously on those troops, but I think they would be more available be more serviceable at a greater distance from home.
With great respect and esteem,&c.,
Abstract from report, in part of the Department of Western Virginia, commanded by Major General Samuel Jones, for December, 1862; headquarters Dublin Depot, W. Va.
Present for duty
Command. Officers. Men. Officers. Men.
First and Third 61 1,106 --- ---
G. C. Wharton
Second Brigade, 97 1,276 --- ---
J. S. William
Fourth Brigade, 67 1,098 --- ---
Bryan's battery --- --- 4 116
Chapman's battery --- --- 3 98
Lowry's battery --- --- 3 72
Otey's battery --- --- 3 69
Stamps' battery --- --- 3 87
Total 225 3,480 16 442
Command. Aggregate Aggregate
present. present and
First and Third 1,340 2,029
Brigade, Colonel G. C. Wharton
Second Brigade, Brigadier 1,603 2,271
General J. S. William
Fourth Brigade, Colonel John 1,367 1,781
Bryan's battery 129 152
Chapman's battery 107 141
Lowry's battery 83 109
Otey's battery 75 123
Stamps' battery 98 125
Total 4,802 6,731