JANUARY 30, 1864.
[General J. A. EARLY:]
GENERAL: I found the enemy in the mountain pass; about one regiment. After a brisk skirmish, I succeeded in driving him through. The road was heavily blockaded, and much time was occupied in removing it. The train knew of my presence, and as soon as I got over the mountain I moved down toward Williamsport to attack the train, knowing that it would countermarch. About 800 men were guarding it. I made a vigorous attack upon them, but owing to the convenience of the mountains I only succeeded in capturing about 15 or 20 prisoners (one major) and ninety-three the mules of forty-two of the wagons were cut away by the enemy and got away. I will move upon Petersburg early to-morrow morning. I send the wagons back to you. They are loaded principally with commissary stores. Not a wagon escaped, and I would have captured the guard but they ran off to the mountains. My loss in killed and wounded was about 25 or 30. My men behaved most gallantly. Please let me know at what time you will reach Petersburg.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. L. ROSSER,
HEADQUARTERS, January 31, 1864.
General J. E. B. STUART:
GENERAL: I have received General Lomax's dispatch of this morning, stating the enemy's cavalry had crossed Robertson River this morning before daylight. Endeavor to find them; defeat their object. Notify all parties in danger. Call upon Wickham and any infantry near their route if necessary.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, January 31, 1864.
Honorable THOMAS J. FOSTER AND OTHERS:
GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to receive your letter of the 26th instant, calling my attention to the resolutions of the Alabama Legislature, requesting the transfer of the Twenty-sixth Alabama Regiment to that State.
I have had occasion to present my views to the honorable Secretary of War upon the subject of these resolutions on the 5th of January. This regiment has done most excellent service and is worthy of any compliment which the State may bestow upon it. I do not see how the good of the service can be promoted by detaching this regiment, thus breaking up a veteran brigade which has just set the glorious example in this army of re-enlisting for the war. If it is proposed to send the regiment home to recruit and return to the same brigade, the same proposition is applicable to many other regiments which have undergone like hardships and been equally reduced in the same bloody conflicts. It is clear that this policy cannot be instituted in the army with the enemy in force in our front. I cannot recommend the transfer of this regiment, unless one equally good is sent beforehand to take its place.