War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0812 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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May 20, 1863.

Major General SAMUEL JONES,

Commanding Department of Western Virginia:

GENERAL: A party of men, numbering about 35, belonging to the Second and Thirty-seventh North Carolina Regiments, deserted last night, taking their arms and equipments with them. The larger portion of them are from Ashe County, North Carolina (which borders on Grayson County, Virginia), and are probably trying to get there. General Lee directs me to request that you guards be kept on the alert for them, and that a force of cavalry be sent to the borders of Ashe County to intercept them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


May 20, 1863.


Shocco Springs, N. C.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I am delighted to hear by your letter of the 13th that you are doing so well. I was very much grieved at your attack, and started one day to see you, but was told it was thought better you should be quiet. I hope you will soon recover your strength, but you must not return to the field until able to endure fatigue. I have a proposition to make: it is that you take command, if able, of the Shenandoah Valley. Colonel Davidson is in local command at Staunton. General Jenkins with his cavalry will be below. You will have all the Maryland troops, which I hope you will be able to organize and build up into something respectable. Their organization has been a failure so far. you will be in a beautiful, healthy county; can give general supervision of operations there; will form the left wing of this army, ad shall have permission to capture Milroy and take Maryland as soon as you can.

Let me know when you will be able to enter on your new command and I will issue the order. I want some one there at once, as i intend to bring W. E. Jones' brigade east of the mountains as soon as he returns from the west. He ought to reach Staunton to morrow.

With many thanks for your kind letter, and feeling with you sympathy at our heavy loss of the great and good Jackson, I remain, very truly yours,

R. E. LEE.


May 20, 1863.

Brigadier General WILLIAM N. PENDLETON,

Chief of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of to-day, and in reply would say that I do not expect any more artillery horses, at least for the present.

Surely the artillery of the First and Second Corps cannot be in want of horses. I am confident that if a careful inspection is made it will be