was moving in the direction of Lexington. I have inferred from these facts that General Early had received instructions from General Lee by telegraph, and was directing their execution. I have already informed General Lee your views relative to camping the whole of the Second Corps near Doctor Terrill's, or rather, in that neighborhood.
W. H. TAYLOR,
JACKSON'S RIVER, December 18, 1863.
Dispatch received. I will guard the route to Clifton Forge, Rich Patch, ant the Fincastle and Covington pike. General Echols is at Sweet Springs. In the Narrows and the Salt Pond route are guarded, then there is no chance for Averell to escape. My force is mostly dismounted men. Major-General Jones knows the movements of the enemy; no doubt will guard the aforesaid routes.
WM. L. JACKSON.
Staunton, Va., [December] 18, 1863 - 12 o'clock.
The enemy is at Mount Jackson and still advancing.
CHAS. T. O'FERRALL,
Lexington, December 18, 1863.
[General J. A. EARLY:]
GENERAL: I arrived at this place at sunrise this morning after a very hard march on men and horses. Scouts sent to Buchanan confirm Averell's movements, as previously reported, viz, via Roanoke, Red Sulphur, New Castle, and toward Sweet Springs. I shall march, via Covington, to Callaghan's, as I find rom statements of the citizens and guides I can get across all streams. The only way I can see that Averell can escape is in direction of Lewisburg (unless arrangements have been made to stop him by that route), or unless he is delayed by high water. Supposing that he is forced back by either of the two causes, he might return and come up by Buchanan. I have ordered the Corps of Cadets to that point. Had you not better throw a supporting force to this point? Averell has too much start of me to intercept him if he goes toward Lewisburg, unless delayed by high waters. Will do what I can, however.
P. S. - Imboden is up, and I have also Colonel Massie's home guards.
2 P. M. - Dispatches inclosisng slip from Richmond papers just received.
51 R R-VOL LI, PT II