SECRETARY OF WAR:
As the division of General Picketts is reunited and filled up, so will the power increase to extent on the line of railroad, and by moving General Ransom's brigade to the south, the brigade of General Martin may be concentrated at Wilmington.
J. D. [DAVIS.]
October 2, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:
SIR: The undersigned, senators and delegates in the General Assembly of Virginia, from Central, Western, and Southwestern Virginia, deeply impressed with the great importance (not only to our immediate section, but to the entire Confederacy) of having in command in that district one who combines all the elements essential to success, do most respectfully and earnestly request the removal of Major General Sam. Jones, now in command, and that your excellency assign to that command some one of the numerous gallant and efficient generals who, in our judgment, are far better adapted to the pressing wants of that all-important military field.
We make this appeal in no spirit of captious opposition to the Government. On the contrary, we have an abiding confidence in its wisdom, as well as its ability to attain final triumph. Nor do we feel inclined to do any injustice to General Jones; but our opportunities have been ample for observing the numerous manifest errors and defects on his command, errors which have been mortifying to the gallant army under his command, and have resulted in great loss to the producing interests of that section, from raids which have been repeatedly made and feebly resisted, when, in our judgment, as well as in the judgment of the army and country, these raids might have been prevented, or the enemy destroyed in his efforts to return from his visits of destruction upon our people.
In conclusion, sir, we feel assured that, aside from the promptness with which our section has responded to calls to arms emanating from proper sources, the great lead, iron, copper, salt, and other interests (a proper defense of which is so materially essential to the welfare of our entire Confederacy) cannot fail to secure your earnest and, we tryst, favorable consideration.
We have the honor to be, sir, with sentiments of great esteem, your obedient servants:
[Signed by R. Crockett, House of Delegates, Wythe County; R. A. Richardson, House of Delegates, Mercer County; Geo. W. Duval, House of Delegates, Roane County; Wilson Lively, House of Delegates, Monroe County; A. J. Deyerle, House of Delegates, Roanoke County; Abraham Fry, House of Delegates, Giles County; James B. Johnson, House of Delegates, Carroll County; S. M. Dickey, House of Delegates, Frayson County; JNO. M. Rowan, House of Delegates, Monroe County; J. W. M. Witten, Fortieth Senatorial District of Virginia; R. M. Bales, Forty-second Senatorial District of Virginia; Jas. C. Taylor, Thirty-ninth Senatorial District of Virginia; J. A. Anderson, Forty-fourth Senatorial District of Virginia; Wm. E. Herndon, House of Delegates, Putnam; Jas. A.