line of river obstructions connected with the same line ("the intermediate"), I would say that my judgment is still in favor of making the obstruction at Warwick Bar just below the pontoon bridge, because the work is partially done now and can be completed sooner than any other, and because two or three guns mounted on the favorable point on the left bank of the James, just above the line of the obstructions, would afford a strong protection for the same. A much shorter connection would suffice to place these seond obstructions in relation with the intermediate line around Manchester than is required to connect it with Drewry's Bluff. At Richmond Bar the banks of the river do not, I fear, offer good positions for guns bearing on the channel, while Warwick Bar can be swept by cannon, and at the same time by sharpshooters, in rifle-pits. All along the frowning bluff, formerly the left bank, a pocket shape would have to be given to the intermediate line on the right bank to make it embrace the Warwick obstructions, but the length would be much less than that required to embrace Drewry's Bluff be done first at the end next to this line, with a view to turn it in when opposite Warwick. If this be found to be the best position for a second river obstruction, as I think it will be, two of our bridges will then be within our bridges will then be within our best line of defense.
Please give the subject your most careful study and decide as promptly as possible. I hope you will soon have a full force of negroes.
Your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 26, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Southwestern Virginia Department:
GENERAL: So far as I am able to judge, the enemy is preparing to move against me at this point with all the strength he can gather. I need every man that I can possibly get to re-enforce me.
The enemy in Tennessee will, no doubt, draw all their forces from the region of Knoxville and the northern portion of the State, to re-enforce the defeated army of General Rosecrans. I hope, therefore, unless you are able to strike them a blow very speedily, you will make arrangements to spare all the troops you can, and at least send Corse's brigade back to me.
If you find by using all your force you can damage the enemy and drive him out of the country, it is a positive advantage not to be neglected. But if you cannot do this, this brigade will be comparatively idle there while its services are much needed here.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
DUBLIN, [September] 26, 1863.
Brigadier General JOHN ECHOLS:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 24th has just been received. Colonel Ferguson has received my order of the 18th instant, issued by di-