HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, April 11, 1863.
Colonel J. F. GILMER,
Chief of Engineer Bureau:
COLONEL: I have learned incidentally that a pontoon train was seen passing through Richmond, on its way to me at this place. I want one of 350 feet span, with rigging and everything complete, sent to Orange Court-House. The boats, &c., if practicable, had better be sent by railroad, so that the wagons may travel light. I understand there are sixteen boats, with some rigging, now at Gordonsville. An engineer officer had better be sent to examine their condition, ascertain the amount of equipments, &c. I wish an officer, if possible, who is acquainted with the business, and who could lay the bridge with rapidity.
Please let me hear from you as soon as possible on the subject, and keep the matter as quiet as practicable.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 11, 1863.
General JOHN S. WILLIAMS,
GENERAL: As soon as the necessary arrangements can be made, you will move into Eastern Kentucky, and organize and muster into the Confederate States service all troops that may volunteer in said service.
The like authority is given as to troops from the border counties of Western Virginia, but is not to be construed as conflicting with permissions heretofore granted other officers to raise companies, &c., in that section. Your knowledge of the country, people, &c., of Eastern Kentucky will enable you to determine to what points your efforts should be best directed. Infantry is to be preferred to cavalry, and you will use every effort to induce men to join the former rather than the latter arm of the service.
It is particularly desirable to raise troops for general service in the Provisional Army for three years or the war, and you will particularly urge men to volunteer in this way. And you may let it be known that, so far as I can control it, they shall be kept on duty in Eastern Kentucky, and, as far as practicable, in that State as long as the exigencies of the service will allow.
Such men as will not volunteer for general service for three years or the war may be organized and mustered into service under "An act to provide for local defense and special service," approved August 21, 1861, copy herewith inclosed.*
Section 2 of that act provides that the muster-rolls shall distinctly set forth the services to be performed. You will, therefore, so word the heading of the rolls, giving full notice to the volunteers, as to embrace the largest extent of country practicable as the place in which they are to serve.
The troops volunteering for general service for three years or the war will be allowed the bounty and other privileges allowed by law to such volunteers. You will be furnished from time to time with such funds as may be needed, and I desire all commissary and quartermaster's stores to be paid for on delivery as far as practicable.