War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0375 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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cannot be made to pay a little for their audacity. Will you please allow me to do so?

The captain who commanded the party yesterday had orders to go as far as Nine-Mile Ordinary, but not beyond, to gain all the information he could; if he saw a good chance to make a dash to do so, but avoid an ambush, to be very careful on the latter point. He did not disobey any order, but I think he might have done better. He was also ordered to bring back in safety a buggy and cart driven by two negroes, which went out with Mrs. Lee; this he did.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBT. M. WEST,

Colonel, Commanding.

[First indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS,

Yorktown, October 23, 1863-12 m.

Respectfully forwarded to the major-general commanding department, for his information.

I have telegraphed to Colonel West to execute his plan boldly, but take care not to take his infantry too far from support.

Respectfully,

I. J. WISTAR,

Brigadier-General.

P. S. -Mrs. Lee was sent out under permission from department headquarters, granted some time since, with caution "never to return. "

[Second indorsement.]

Action approved.

J. G. FOSTER.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, October 24, 1863-11. 20 a. m.

Major-General MEADE,

Army of the Potomac:

The President desires that you will prepare to attack Lee's army, and, at all hazards, make a cavalry raid, to break the railroad at or near Lynchburg, and such other places as may be practicable. The troops making this raid must mainly subsist upon the country. They should be provided with the proper means of destroying railroads, bridges, &c. There are four lines by which to return; first to your army; second, through the Valley of the Shenandoah; third, to Gloucester; fourth, to Norfolk. I send herewith a copy of the President letter, just received.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

[Inclosure.]

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

Washington, October 24, 1863.

Major-General HALLECK:

Taking all our information together, I think it probable that Ewell's corps has started for East Tennessee by way of Abingdon,