DUBLIN DEPOT, February 1, 1863.
Major [A.] LEYDEN,
Commanding Ninth Georgia Battalion Artillery:
MAJOR: There are reports of a raid on a very large scale from Kentucky on the salt-works. The general commanding directs me to say that Major General John B. Floyd, commanding State Line, is commanding near that place, and he has been requested by General Jones to communicate to you promptly the first information of the advance, and to indicate to you the most suitable point for your battalion to be used in the defense of the works. On receiving such information from General Floyd, you will proceed promptly to the point indicated. You will not construe this as transferring you to General Floyd's command, but only to gain time. Should it become necessary, however, to employ your battalion with the Virginia State Line, you will act under General Floyd's instructions until the major-general reaches the ground.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
W. B. MYERS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, February 2, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have had the honor to receive a letter from the Honorable A. R. Boteler, transmitting a petition of certain members of the General Assembly of Virginia, with reference to the defense of the Valley, referred to me on the 27th ultimo. The condition of affairs in that region had previously attracted my serious consideration. I had hoped that the force under Brigadier General W. E. Jones would have been sufficient to confine the enemy to the lower part of the Valley, if not to the line of the Potomac, and I authorized him, when necessary, to unite with him the troops in Augusta County, under Colonels [H. B.] Davidson and [J. D.] Imboden.
General Jones was selected for the position which he now holds by Lieutenant-General [T. J.] Jackson, in whose judgment I have great confidence. He has heretofore proved himself active, energetic, and bold in the face of the enemy. I am unable at this distance to judge whether he has accomplished all that could have been done to drive the enemy from the Valley, but I can readily see many difficulties which lay in his way. He reports that there is no long forage in the lower part of the Valley, and I know if at this season the horses are kept at had work on insufficient food they will be incapacitated for duty in the spring, when their services will be more required. Without forage for the horses, provisions for the infantry cannot be transported, nor can efficient means be adopted to expel the enemy at this inclement period. The presence of General [A. E.] Burnside's large army in my immediate front and his threatened movements have prevented my detaching any portion of this army, and, even if less engaged, I should consider it extremely hazardous to throw a body of infantry across the Blue Ridge for operations in the Valley at this season. General Jones has been directed to keep his cavalry as near the enemy as practicable, to curtail his marauding expeditions, to cut up his communications, and to harass him in every possible way. I send you his last report, in order that