RICHMOND, VA., May 2, 1864.
General ROBERT E. LEE,
Orange Court-House, Va.:
Your dispatch of the 30th ultimo received.* Your wishes willbe complied with as soon as possible. Enemy have evacuated Washington, N. C.
ORANGE COURT-HOUSE, May 2, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG:
Your dispatch received. The Twenty-first Georgia Regiment, Forty-third North Carolina Regiment, Hoke's brigade, and Johnson's brigade are absent from their divisions-former in North Carolina, latter at Hanover Junction. Please relieve and send them on.
R. E. LEE.
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT,
May 2, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: I have been perplexed for several days by the uncertainty in regard to the enemy's intentions in the west. My force is too small to divide, and the menace of attack being about general from Beverly and from New Creek and Cumberland, I have concentrated my command (except the pickets below Woodstock) in Rockingham County, which I may move either to the lower Valley or to the defense of Staunton and the railroad, as circumstances may require. The inclosed dispatches,+ received at 11 p. m. last night, would seem to indicate a purpose on the part of the enemy to penetrate the Valley from some point on lost River, Orkney Springs, Columbia Furnace, or possibly Brock's Gap. I therefore to-day move my command toward Timberville to the vicinity of New Market and will attack the enemy, no matter in what force he appears. My knowledge of the country is so perfect that I believe I can beat back a raiding party five times my own number. I hear nothing new from the west, except that Captain Hill, of the Sixty-second Regiment, who has been on an expedition against the Swamp Dragons on the North Fork in Pendleton, returns to-day with one hundred and thirty-old good cattle. These, added to fifty-odd captured and brought out from the same parties two weeks ago and the flour and bacon taken from their camp when their leader, Captain Harper, was killed, will leave this band of outlaws short of provisions for the summer, unless the Yankees supply their wants.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. IMBODEN,
P. S.-I will have the reserve of four counties-Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and PAGE-armed this week, unless prevented by some unforeseen contingency-numbering from 1,200 to 1,500 men.
J. D. I.
*Not found, but see probable reference thereto (as of 1.45 p. m.) in Lee to Davis, VOL. XXXIII, p. 1331.