The number is probably exaggerated. Two field batteries left here for Saltville by train early this morning. Should be with you this evening. With them and the Sixty-third [Virginia], you can hold the passes to the salt-works against a cavalry raid until re-enforcements arrive, which will be sent to you as soon as railroad transportation can be procured. Hold the passes to the salt-works at all hazard.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 18, 1863.
General JENKINS, Salem:
Proceed at once to Glade Spring with 1,000 effective men. Take all that are armed. Arms for the rest will be furnished here. [Thomas] Dodamead will furnish transportation on your order.
CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW,
ENGINEER BUREAU, Richmond, Va., April 19, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding, near Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 11th instant, by mail, just received.* Fortunately, the pontoon bridge you want is at Gordonsville, with trestle and bridge-way enough for 300 additional feet, making, with the pontoons, over 600 feet. Captain Hugh T. Douglas, an expert in the use of pontoon bridges, has been at Gordonsville for some days, putting all the boats, trestles, balks, and cheeses, with the necessary rigging, in complete order. Of this, Lieutenant Colonel W. Proctor Smith, Engineers, was informed by letter from Colonel W. H. Stevens, dated 14th instant.
Captain Douglas has been directed, by telegram from Colonel Stevens this morning, to forward the bridge train from Gordonsville to Orange Court-House without delay. It will have to go by rail, as no animals are provided. All the teams employed in the engineer service were turned over to the Quartermaster's Department to supply the requisitions from General Longstreet. I hope the necessary teams can be sent to Orange Court-House from the general transportation and artillery of your army, to haul the bridge train forward to the river.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Colonel of Engineers and Chief of Bureau.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., April 19, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
GENERAL: Your letter of the 17th instant causes concern and anxiety respecting the sanitary condition of your army, and stimulates the efforts I am earnestly making to increase your supplies of subsistence. I have here with me now, in consultation, Colonel Wadley, the agent of
*See Lee to Gilmer, April 11, p.715.