In answer to His Excellency the Governor of Florida, who recommended the return of the brigade to the State, I stated it could be done in my opinion if a full regiment was sent to take its place until its ranks could be filled. If this cannot be done, I recommend that the brigade be consolidated into a regiment. I should much regret for the brigade to lose its identity. It has served long and faithfully; but I have tried every way to recruit its ranks without success. If this brigade was sent to Florida, others equally deserving could not be denied a similar indulgence, and the army would be broken up.
R. E. LEE,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
January 22, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.
A former application of Messrs. Maxwell and Hilton, requesting that this command be returned to Florida, was referred to General Beauregard January 7, 1864, and has not yet been returned to this office.
H. L. CLAY,
Inform these Representatves of the action taken, if the paper has to be sent by Adjutant-General.
J. A. S. [SEDDON.]
HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VA. AND EAST TENN.,
Dublin, December 21, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Following dispatch just received from operator at Salem, dated to-day:
A courier just arrived says the enemy was in New Castle about dark this evening.
WM. B. MYERS,
(Copy of same sent to General Nicholls, commanding at Lynchburg.)
DECEMBER 21, [1863.]
Information from Colonel Browne received yesterday. Please communicate to General Pickett and War Department. Pickett reports enemy re-enforced at Washington. May be to cut railroad. Only one brigade here, and I can do no more than I am doing.
W. H. C. WHITING,