War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0494 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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HEADQUARTERS, Brooke's Station, March 8, 1862.

General FRENCH, Commanding First Brigade:

GENERAL: You will please march your brigade directly to Fredericksburg and select for yourself a convenient camp below the town. Please ride over and breakfast with me in the morning. I wish to confer with you about some matters, and you can rejoin your command before it reaches Fredericksburg.

I am, general, very respectfully,

T. H. HOLMES,

Major-General, commanding.

[5.]

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF LEWISBURG, Lewisburg, March 8, 1862.

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL C. S. ARMY,

Richmond:

GENERAL: The Eighth Virginia Cavalry (Jenifer's) for two months past has been guarding the approaches to Mercer County from Raleigh County. This regiment must either be at once dismounted or sent to the line of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. All the forage in Mercer and the adjacent counties has been consumed. The large number of cavalry that has been kept in this county since the commencement of our difficulties has proved very disastrous to the interests of our army; it has crippled its operations. Cavalry can be, and has been, of little or no use in these mountains. I will require only about 100 mounted men on the line to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and say the same number on the James River and Kanawha turnpike. This force can be readily raised in this country. Not one-half of the cavalry now here, or that has been in this army, has been armed with guns of any description; consequently they never could, under any circumstances, fight as a body on foot; but, a Part from their armament, the want of forage settles the question of their remaining here as cavalry. I shall defer dismounting the Eighth Virginia Cavalry until I hear from you, as cavalry may be needed at some other point. You will confer a favor by answering this at your earliest convenience. The last bushel of corn that can be bought in Mercer has been engaged, and will last only a few days longer. If the Eighth Virginia Cavalry is removed from this line a regiment of infantry should supply its place.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. HETH,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

[First indorsement.]

MARCH 10, 1862.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Second indorsement.]

ADJUTANT-GENERAL:

Where is this cavalry most wanted?

J. P. BENJAMIN.

[Third indorsement.]

MARCH 15, 1862.

Respectfully referred to General R. E. Lee.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.