War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0704 N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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If the law forbids their application, I do not ask that it be violated. But if it allows this labor to be applied to works pertaining to the public defense, I think it may with propriety be applied to this road. Our railroads are our principal lines of communication, necessary for the transportation of munitions of war, and to the maintenance of our defensive lines and works; as much so as the lines and works themselves. We cannot retain our position unless the railroads can afford sufficient transportation, which they cannot do in their present condition. If there is any better mode of placing the road in proper condition, I would prefer it.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 4, 1863.

Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN,

Commanding, &c., Shenandoah Mountain:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 1st instant was received only a few moments since.

The necessary orders will be immediately given to Colonel Patton. The Fifty-fourth and Fiftieth [Virginia] Regiments having been ordered out of my department [the Fiftieth will go to General Lee as soon as transportation is provided], I shall not be able to send [George M.] Edgar's battalion with Colonel Patton. As the Fiftieth, [which] is as large as the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first together, goes to General Lee, I take it for granted he will send the two latter to you. I have written to him that he may count with certainty on receiving the Fiftieth. Colonel W. L. Jackson has a regiment collected, and the field officers will be elected and the organization completed before you start. Something over 200 of his men are now in the lower end of Pocahontas; most of them are of the Virginia State Line, are armed, and have seen service. I will direct Colonel Jackson to join you and act under your orders. I saw him yesterday, and told him of my intention to send him with you on the expedition. He is at the Warm Springs, and I wish you to communicate with him.

Inform me if General Lee has sent the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first to you. If he has not, write and urge him to do so. The Fiftieth will be with him before Hooker will move.

My engineer and his party will leave here for Staunton on the 9th or 10th instant.

Very respectfully and truly,

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

P. S.-I will observe and follow the substitution of names as you suggest.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 4, 1863.

Colonel W. L. JACKSON,

Nineteenth Virginia Cavalry, Warm Springs:

COLONEL: The expedition under Imboden, of which I spoke to you yesterday, will start on the 15th instant.