GUINEY'S STATION, May 16, 1864.
(Received 2.30 p. m. 17th.)
If you [do not deem] it practicable to carry out the suggestion of my dispatch of this morning to drive the enemy from the Valley and pursue him into Maryland, you can be of great service with this army. If you can follow Sigel into Maryland, you will do more good then by joining us. If you cannot, and your command is not otherwise needed in the Valley or in your department, I desire you to prepare to join me. Advise me whether the condition of affairs in your department will admit of this movement safely, and if so, I will notify you of the time and route.
R. E. LEE.
Gap Mills, May 16, 1864-10.15 a. m.
Colonel JOHN McCAUSLAND, Commanding:
COLONEL: I reached this place last evening. The enemy's pickets all last night were within 300 yards of mine. They were drawn in this morning toward Union. My mounted men (now reduced to about twenty on the road toward Union) are driving their pickets further in. I inclose a dispatch,* just now received from Captain Crawford, who has followed up close. My command (not being mounted) will be compelled to stop the pursuit on account of sore feet, want of shoes, and rations. I very much fear that I will be compelled to go to Jackson River Depot to supply, equip, and recruit my men.
By some shameful conduct a piece of artillery and my train on the way to me to the Narrows, and turned off to connect with me on the Salt Pond road, was abandoned, and destroyed by Crook on Peter's Mountain, as he fell back. There was ample notice and time to save the whole. A strict investigation will be instituted, and the guilty shall be punished. Having now no train I shall be compelled to go to the Depot until I can raise one, and if I make that movement before I can hear from you, I hope it will meet with your approbation. We have several prisoners, horses, &c., of the enemy.
WM. L. JACKSON,
P. S.-I think the enemy are now moving rapidly toward Lewisburg and from thence to the Kanawha Valley.
WM. L. J.
SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE, may 17, 1864.
(Via Guiney's. Received 12.30 a. m. 18th.)
Major General J. C. BRECKINRIDGE:
Dispatch of to-day received.* It is reported that Averell and Crook have retired. If you can organize a guard for Valley and be spared from it, proceed with infantry to Hanover Junction by railroad. Cavalry, if available, can march.
R. E. LEE,