War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0816 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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to occupy Knoxville. It is the best manner of securing the line of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and preventing the constant and annoying demonstrations against you, and I suggest that you unite your whole force, leaving out only detachments to observe the enemy and keep up appearances, while you strike rapid and strong blows upon the force in Tennessee. Should you not be able to do this, a movement upon Northwestern Virginia, combined with a movement of Imboden upon the railroad, might enable both detachments to injure the enemy.

As far as I can learn, I believe there is little probability of the threatened movement of Averell from Beverly, of which you advise me, nor have I any reason to believe that an advance will be made by him in that direction this fall.

It behooves us to the active, to give the enemy no rest, and to prevent his re-enforcing his army about Chattanooga, which now seems to be the important point of his operations.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

November 2, 1863.

Major General J. E. B. STUART,

Commanding, &c..

GENERAL: Your letter of the 31st ultimo, with reference to the inspection report of the batteries in your command, is received.

I am aware of the difficulties under which those batteries labor, and am disposed to make proper allowances for them. The matters which I mentioned in my letter, however, are such as require only a due degree of attention on the part of the officers. As far as grease for the hanrnes is concerned, all that it used in the artillery is made in the same way as that you refer to, and as it is impossible in our condition to have all the facilities and means that we would desire, it is necessary to exert increased effort to supply the deficiencies, and render available such as we have. We have compelled to depend upon the resources of our officers and men in making the most of what we have, and not to wait until we get what we would prefer. The subject of greasing the harness was not mentioned in the report. I only referred to its being dirty and suffered to lie on the ground for want of proper racks. This can be easily remedied.

In the case of Chew's battery, the report does not mean that it has no changed camp in eight days, but only that it has not been on the march or in action during that time, so that it has had opportunity to wash and clean the gunsand equipments.

The report of General Chilton was a simple statement of facts, and as i have extracted all that require your attetion, I see no good that would result from departing from usages in such matters by sending you a copy. I know that you and the officers of your artillery will do all in your power to correct these evils, and it was only with that view that they were brought to your attention.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.