War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0717 Chapter XLI. CONFEDERATE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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CHRISTIANSBURG, September 13, 1863.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

We are threatened with a heavy and formidable raid upon the railroad. Force estimated from 5,000 to 7,000. Can you send us any assistance? We beg that you will send us re-enforcements immediately.

WALLER R. STAPLES.

ROBERT T. PRESTON.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1863.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

After considering the telegrams and note sent to me, though I am left to hope that the "locals" ordered by you may suffice, there is reason to apprehend that, with due allowance for exaggeration, it will be otherwise. It seems to me well that a brigade of Pickett's division should be sent up for temporary service. Communication opened with General Jones may give more reliable information. Should it prove to be a false alarm the brigade can be ordered back from any point on the road, if it should have started before an answer can be received.

Wharton's and Jenkins' brigades may be in position to afford the earliest assistance. The raiders should, if possible, whether in large or small numbers, be not only checked but punished.

Yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Dublin, September 13, 1863.

Captain W. T. HART,

New River Bridge:

The following dispatch just received from Captain Walker, Otey Battery, at Wytheville:

A party of raiders are supposed to be working their way to New River Bridge. I have information of 800 cavalry in Tazewell. What direction they will take not known.

D. N. WALKER.

WM. B. MYERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,

Dublin, September 13, 1863.

Brigadier-General NICHOLLS,

Commanding, Lynchburg:

There is a force of 700 of the enemy reported advancing through Tazewell County in this direction or on Saltville. Prisoners report it as the advance guard of a heavy force from 4,000 to 7,000. Please keep your command in readiness to move in this direction. I will keep you fully advised of any information I receive.

WM. B. MYERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.