War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0870 OPERATIONS IN N. C.,VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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render it certain. By this course we would have a brigade but little, if any, inferior in numbers or ability to what it was at the start.

The officers and men of the brigade have served for two years and a half faithfully, neglecting home, business, and everything personal to themselves. They have seen fall around tem from the casualties of the service more than two-thirds of their original number, and believing that the approaching winter will offer an opportunity for them to enjoy the rest they require and attend to their necessary business at home without detriment to the service, they appeal with confidence to the governmental authorities for this indulgence. We make the application jointly with the officers and men of the Third Arkansas Regiment. The same reasoning will apply to them.

I have written to General Hood on the subject, with the hope of getting his concurrence and assistance, and hope you will confer with him. If you and he can agree, I hope you will act in concert. I address the delegation, and earnestly hope that you will all give us your aid in this matter. I shall visit Richmond as soon as I can get off. I am joined in this effort by all the officers of the command.

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. ROBERTSON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Indorsements.]

The undersigned members of Congress from Texas beg leave most respectfully to refer the foregoing communication to His Excellency the President of the Confederate States, and to add their most earnest request that some arrangement consistent with the public service may be made for the transfer of First, Fourth, and Fifth Texas Regiments to the State of Texas in order to be recruited. We think that the extraordinary services rendered and hardships endured by these regiments eminently commend them to the special favor of the Government.

[Signed by F. B. Sexton, M. D. Graham, W. B. Wright, John A. Wilcox, W. S. Oldham, L. T. Wigfall, and P. W. Gray.]

RICHMOND,

December 29, 1863.

I will never consent to the consolidation of this brigade. I approve the plan proposed within.

J. B. HOOD,

Major-General.

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

Dublin, December 12, 1863.

Brigadier General JOHN ECHOLS,

Union:

Fall back slowly unless you are heavily pressed. Do not engage the enemy until you are joined by McCausland. If this rain continues, I do not think the enemy will across the Greenbrier River. Where is Colonel Jackson and in what direction is he moving? Do you need anything to prepared your troops for action?

SAM. JONES,

Major-General.