War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 1087 Chapter XXXIII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, January 11, 1863.

Brigadier-Genera WILLIAMS, Salt Sulphur Springs:

If the enemy's cavalry has not returned, place a battalion of infantry at or near Centerville, if you have not already done so, to intercept them. Of course, you will not permit to pass by the Salt Sulphur or Union. Send me immediately all the information you have of their movements. If they desire to visit New River Bridge just now, they will be warmly received there.

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin Depot, January 11, 1863.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: You are no doubt aware of the great value New River would be to us in any military operations in the direction in the direction of the Kanawha if it were capable of being navigated even by bateaux at all seasons of the year, and of the natural obstacles now in the way of its navigation. The importance to the State, even in time of peace, of improving the navigation of this river has, I believe, frequently occupied the attention of the State Legislature. It is of vastly more importance now, and I respectfully bring it to your notice at this time, to ask that you will take such steps as you may think proper to bring about the desired improvement.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

[Indorsements.]

Refereed to Engineer Bureau.

Report any information or suggestions you may have to give on the subject of the within.

J. A. S.[SEDDON],

Secretary of War.

ENGINEER BUREAU, February 25, 1863.

Respectfully returned to the honorable Secretary of War.

The improvement urged within is, doubtless, one of importance; but, owing to the great dearth of labor, its prosecution is of recommended. A letter has been written to Mr. Lorraine, chief engineer of the James River and Kanawha Canal, requesting information from him on the subject, as he is understood to have made special examination; but as yet no reply has been received. As soon as Mr. Lorraine's answer arrives, it will be communicated.

J. F. GILMER,

Colonel and Chief Engineer Bureau.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin Depot, January 11, 1863.

Colonel WHARTON, Commanding Narrows:

I do not think so small a force as you report would venture so far as New River Bridge. If they have not retraced their steps, as I presume