War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0668 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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Dublin, March 16, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding, &c., near Fredericksburg, Va.:

GENERAL: I have this instant received your letter of the 11th instant. I was informed a few days since by the Adjutant and Inspector General that Lieutenant-General Longstreet had been ordered, on the 5th instant, to send back to this department two regiments of infantry which I sent to Eastern Virginia in December, and also two infantry regiments of Brigadier-General Marshall's, then under my command.

My two regiments have not yet arrived, nor have General Marshall's. My intention was to place my two at or near the salt-works, on the borders of Smyth and Washington Counties, the present disorganized state of the Virginia State Line making it necessary, in my judgment, to have some troops there.

If the Secretary of war will allow me to take charge of Marshall's two regiments, temporarily only, I can let you have my two for Imboden's expedition. I could turn over Marshall's regiments as soon as you return mine. The arrangement I suggest will not, that I can see, interfere with Marshall. I have a letter from him to-day, saying he is moving into Kentucky. He will not be in the department to receive and give orders to the regiments for a month or six weeks, I presume and in the meantime his two infantry regiments, when they arrive from Eastern Virginia, may as well take post at or near Saltville as anywhere else. If this arrangement can be made, my two regiments need not come here, but obey such orders as you may give, either to join Imboden or you. If the arrangement cannot be made, I cannot spare two regiments for so long a time as you suggest without exposing this lie. All there is needed is that the Secretary shall authorize me to detain Marshall's two regiments as long as you keep mine, Marshall in the meantime being in Kentucky, where he cannot receive or give orders for stationing his regiments. I will write to the Secretary and make the suggestion without mentioning your letter, but a suggestion to him from you would have more weight.

When Imboden is ready to move, I will engage the attention of the enemy in the Kanawha Valley, as you suggest.

I am sorry I did not know sooner of your proposed expedition, as I have within the last week started a small expedition to the Lower Kanawha, and have ordered a couple of regiments to engage the enemy's attention at Fayetteville, to prevent them from interfering with my men on the Lower Kanawha. I could have deferred the expedition if I had known you desired me to aid you.

I am, most respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,




Dublin, March 16, 1863.


Commanding, &c., Princeton, Mercer County, Va.:

COLONEL: My instructions to you as to the time of reaching Fayetteville were based on General Jenkins' statement that he would strike the Kanawha on the 22nd instant. In a note received from him, he informs me that his command have already been detained one day longer than he expected, and he therefore asks that you delay your move