But should an opportunity offer of re-enforcing you, I should be glad to do so. In the menatime, I hope you will take advantage of every occasion to annoy and harass the enemy, even if you cannot drive him north of the Potomac.
I would not recommend an attack on Romney or Petersburg, if they are so strongly fortified as you suppose, but suggest that you endevor to draw the enemy out, by their attacking his line of communication, or some point on the railroad which will necessitate his moving against you. A thousand bold men, which you say you can mount, can accomplish a great deal by the promptness of their movements.
I will write to General Sam. Jones to see if the operations in his department will enable him to re-enforce you; or, at any rate, to make a demonstration upon the enemy to prevent his concentrating upon you.
Your late exploit at Charlestown gives me great reason to hope that you will be able, before the apporach ofwinter, todeal another serious blow upon the enemy at some point of his line. I hope, at any rate, you will be able to get out all the cattle, hogs, and horses that can be made available for our use.
It will be very advantageous to get out the flour your propse from Frederick, and the wheat from Clarke, if possible; but at this time I can do nothing to aid you.
I a conversation with Captain Stump, he thinks great damage can be done to the transportation on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad by the operations of a party of picked men constantly hovering along its line and watching their opportunity.
I agree with him in thinking that much could be done in this way, but am aware of the difficulty of raising such a force. If you think it feasible, detachments might be made temporarily from your companies, under Captain Stump, and the practicability of the plan tested.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
November 2, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 22nd ultimo,* and regret that I cannot at this time spare any troops from this army to re-enforce you. General Meade is again advancing on this line, repairing the railroad as he moves forward.
I had desired to take advantage of any lull in his operations and the good weather of this fall to drive General Kelly's forces out of Hardy and Hampshire, and make another attempt to interrupt transportation on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but in the preset condition of affairs, I am unable to re-enforce General Imboden, who thinks himself too weak to accomplish it.
Your movement upon East Tennessee may attract the attention of the enemy in Northwestern Virginia, so as to prevent a combination of his forces upon General Imboden. I hope you will be able
*See Jones to Seddon, October 22.