The storm of last week has, I think, been very general throughout Virginia, and will probably delay your expedition beyond the 1st of April. The high water and condition of the roads will render it impracticable to move any of my men for several days, and I presume you will find the same difficulties in your way.
The engineer officer whom I directed to report to you is now seriously ill with fever. I have directed Captain Poor, of the Engineers, to report to you with the men and material for the expedition. Captain Poor is in every way well qualified for the service.
I will aid you at Beverly with a regiment of infantry, if the roads are in condition to admit of it. I wish you would keep me informed of your movements, and of any information you receive, as well of the condition and strength of the enemy as of the roads and water-courses over which you will have to pass.
This will be delivered to you by Captain Poor, whom I desire to introduce to you.
Very respectfully, &c.,
March 28, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
General W. E. Jones reports the Ninth Corps (Burnside's) started west last Sunday by the Pennsylvania Central and Baltimore and Ohio Railroads, supposed for Kentucky. I have inquired of General Longstreet.
R. E. LEE,
Why inquire of General Longstreet? This may be an error in dispatch, or it may be a suggestion of that which is to my mind indicated-the movements of Longstreet to re-enforce Bragg.
Now is the time to destroy the Kentucky Railroad and the Cheat River Bridge, if possible.
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, March 28, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding, &C., Camp near Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: On my return from Princeton, night before last, I received your letter of the 21st instant. I had previously written to General Imboden that I would let him have a regiment numbering as many men for duty as the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first [Virginia] combined. Imboden arrived here to-day to confer with me, and the expedition will start as soon as the roads and mountain streams will permit.
My suggestion that you should take one of my regiments, or one of Marshall's, then in Eastern Virginia, was made in order that you might, if you thought proper, send the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first to Imboden. Either one of the regiments reported as many men for duty as your two combined. The Twenty-ninth [Virginia] Regiment, which is now with Lieutenant-General Longstreet, is, I am told, much larger than the
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