Confederate States. Nothing but the most imperious necessity would induce me to recommend this course, but I think we must have a good steamer here, that it is essential, and that you will entirely agree with me.
I beg leave to present this matter for your immediate and prompt consideration.
W. H. C. WHITING,
Orange, August 18, 1863.
GENERAL: The report of Major Mosby, of 4th in stant, relative to his expeditions toward Fairfax Cout- House and below has been forwarded to th eWar Department. I greatly commend his boldness and good management, which is the cause of his success. I have heard thathe has now with him a large nimber of men, yet his expeditions are undertaken with very few, and his attention seems more directed to the capture of sutlers' wagons, &c., than to the injury of theenemy's communications and outposts. The capture and destruction of wagon trains is advantageous, but the supply of the Federal Army is carried on by the railroad. If that should be injured, it would cause him to detach largely for its security, and thus weaken his main army. His threat of punishing citizens on the line for such attacks must be met by meting similar treatment to his soldiers when captured.
I do not know hte cause for undertaking his expeditions with so few men, whether it is from policy or the difficulty of collecting them. I have heard of his men, among them officers, being in rear of this army selling catrured goods, sutlers' stores, &c. This had better be attended to by others. It has also been reported to me that many deserters from this army have joined him. Among them have been seen members of the Eighth Veirginia Regiment. If this is true, I am sure it must be without the knowledge of Major Mosby, but I desire you to call his attention to this matter, to prevent his being imposed on.
Iam, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
August 18, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Southwestern Department:
GENERAL: Your letter of August 12 has been receibed. Ithank you for your prompt arrangements to lend aid to Imboden in th evalley. He has only his own infantry and cavalry operating with him. Colonel Wharton is near here with his brigade. General Imboden has taken position at Bridgewater, in order to protect the upper valley, and cover the gaps from Brock's Gap to the pass via McDowell. My proposition to yu was to threaten the enemy's flank, in making any movement through these passes, by a demonstation