War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 1056 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Dublin, July 31, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

The brigade I sent to the Valley of Virginia some weeks since, under your instructions, is commanded by Colonel G. C. Wharton. The troops he commands are good, and the colonel has commanded a brigade for nearly eighteen months. He is an admirable officer, and in every way well qualified to command a brigade. He is at present and the immediate command of Brigadier-General Imboden, who, I believe, had not so large a command as Colonel Wharton, and was a captain long after the latter was commanding a brigade. I earnestly recommend and ask that Colonel Wharton be promoted to a brigade generally. I am confident that if the rank is conferred on him, he will prove himself every way worthy of it.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Dublin, July 31, 1863.

Major General S. B. BUCKER,

Commanding, &c., Knoxville, Tenn.:

GENERAL: Some weeks since I sent my chief engineer to Saltville, to plan and lay out such defensive works as he thought requisite for the defense of that place, and, on my application, the Chief of Ordnance has directed six field pieces to be sent to me, to be placed in position there.

I Understand now that your chief engineer has been sent by the War Department to the same place, and for the same purpose, and that the two plans of defense differ materially. I have ordered away the officer who was left there to superintend the construction od the works, and I much prefer leaving that place entirely to your care, and think it properly belongs to you, as the principal approaches to it are through your department, and the defense of that part of Southwestern Virginia within your department naturally embraces the salt-works.

The recent raid to Wytheville was enabled to penetrate within my lines because I was obliged to keep a part of my troops at Saltville.

If you will so dispose your forces as to guard the salt-works from attack through you department, I will so station mine as to guard them against any ordinary attack through my department, and will at the same time be able to guard much more effectually than I can now the long line of road through my department.

When I last saw you I understood you to say you had some surplus field pieces. If so, perhaps you can use them for the defense of the salt-works, with four of those sent to me, leaving me two pieces to be placed in position at the lead mines in Wythe County, a point of great importance to us.

Please let me hear from you in reply to this as soon as you can conveniently do so.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.