War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0809 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

October 31, 1863.

Major General ARNOLD ELZEY,

Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Your telegram is received. I wish to put you on your guard against the mischief that may result from sending dispatches containing information as to the number and position of our troops, unless they be put in cipher. Whenver such matters cannot be made the subject of a letter, which is always prefrabel when possible, they should be sent by telegraph in cipher, as facts have before this found their way to the public, and of course of the enemy, under such circumstnaces as to induce me to abstain from sendingopen telgrams about thinks that ought not to be known. I adivse you to pursue this course. You can order the troops from Hanover Junction to you, as soon as you see proper, giving me notice when you do.

If it be true that all of General Foster's troops are being withdrawn from the coast of North Carolina, theforces that have been opposing them can also be withdrawn, and if you ascertain the fact satisfactorily, you can apply to the Secretary of War to order up the disposable troops from North Carolina, including such as can be spared from Wilmington, who will nolonger be of service there after the enemy has withdrawn, excepting a sufficient guard to prevent raids by small parties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

October 31, 1863.

Major General J. E. B. STUART, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Colonel Willis has been ordered to proceed with two regiments of infantry to scour the counties of Rappahannock, Page Madison, and Greene for desertes. I desire youto send a squadron of cavalry to report to him at Rixeyville, where he will probably arrive Monday evening. I also wish you to send him guides acuantinted with the counties named, if you have them, selecting those who are acquainted with the country, and who can aid him in finding the haunts of deserers or put him in communication with those who can. Please direct General Rosser, or whoever ommands the cavalry near the scene of his operations, to notify Colonel Willis of any danger, and should he call for any cavalry besides the squadron, to furnish it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VA. AND EAST TENN.,

Abingdon, October 31, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Brigadier General W. E. Jones was at Jonesborough, Tenn., yesterday with a part of my cavalry. He thinks the enemy has fallen back to Bull's Gap. General Bragg informs me by telegraph, dated day