so as to leave the salt-works and this line of railroad unguarded. If the enemy is threatening Richmond in force, why not order my troops down there temporarily, leaving only enough men here to guard the passes through the mountains for a few days? If the enemy is whipped and driven from Richmond whilst general Lee`s army is in the North, it will have a great moral effect both North and South. My troops may then come back here, clear out the Kanawha Valley and Western Virginia, and perhaps do good service in Western Pennsylvania. If you do not need my troops in Richmond, please say so. Relieve me from the duty of guarding this road, if you think proper to do so. I can then leave General [John S.] Williams, in conjunction with General [William] Preston, to protect the saltworks, and use my men to clear out Western Virginia.
DUBLIN, July 5, 1863.
Major C. S. STRINGFELLOW.
(Care of General Cooper),
In your interview with the Secretary of War, present to him prominently my desire to so employ my troops as to produce the greatest practicable good. If Richmond is seriously threatened, my troops, excepting enough to guard the mountain passes, may be carried there for temporary and immediate service. That service performed, they may return here, and clean out the Kanawha Valley, and, perhaps, go into Pennsylvania. If they are not needed in Richmond, get the Secretary to say so; relieve me from the duty of guarding this road, if he thinks proper to do so, and leave me free to employ my men as I think best. If the enemy can be driven from his threatening attitude before Richmond, and Western Virginia cleaned out, the summer campaign in this State will, from the present appearance, be a complete success.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., July 6, 1863.
General D. H. HILL, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: It is very important for the solution of ulterior movements, as well as to relief from the harassing depredations around the city, and to remove menace from the capital, that the Yankee force on the Peninsula, Now probably concentrated at the White House, should be dispersed, chastised, or captured. I do not know how they may be situated, or how far military considerations will allow attack, but, with the forces now at command, I hope you are strong enough effectually to dispose of them, or at least drive them permanently off. I do not suppose you need any urging to such action, but I consider it due to you to express my decided conviction in favor of early and decisive action, and so share whatever responsibility may attach to it.
Very truly, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.