You must exercise your discretion on the information received, but if you can not cross the streams toward Covington you had better follow Averell, as I think he will be detained two or three days. If you think proper, and cannot get to Callaghan's by Covington, you can go by Millborough to the Warm Springs, by occupying which, and a point from fifteen to sixteen miles beyond on the road to Huntersville, in Pocahontas, you can cut off Averell if he attempts to get back toward Beverely or Petersburg, in Hardy. General Imboden will know the point I man. I think you may be able to cross the Cow Pasture beyond Millborough day after to-morrow. I will send my infantry to Millborough to-morrow. Consult Imboden about the route and the country, and if you and he conclude this latter is the best way of intercepting Averell, adopt it. I send two dispatches.
J. A. EARLY,
N. B.- This dispatch should have been dated at 10 p. m. on the 17th, instead of 10 a. m., but it was written in a hurry and the mistake made.
J. A. EARLY,
DECEMBER 18, 1863.
GENERAL: A few days since I wrote General Lee and asked whether he thought Rodes could move back near Terrill's. As I expected an answer by yesterday's mail, I deferred telegraphing as you requested until the mail arrived, and, as I anticipated, a reply from the general came. He says: "The artillery will have to move to ground where it can be sustained, but not unless necessary. Rodes can come back too, if required for the comfort and sustenance of his division." I tol dthe general that one brigade might remain in front (those of the division taking it alternately) while the others moved to Terrill's. I suppose it will be necessary to do this in order to protect his line. Fitz. Lee was moving yesterday toward Lexington, so he telegraphed Stuart. I think General Early has received telegraphic instructions from General Lee, and hope he will be able to catch those people who have visited the railroad. General Pendleton wishes to know if his son will be able to return in time to go on leave next Monday.
Truly, and respectfully, yours,
W. H. TAYLOR,
ORANGE COURT-HOUSE, December 18, 1863.
GENERAL: I presume when yours of this morning was written, you had not received a communication from me giving all the information you call for. Mine must have passed yours on the way. I had previously consulted General Lee about Rodes moving back and received a reply by yesterday's mail, authorizing the change of camp. I have no information from the Valley which has not already been communicated to you. General Early in a telegram (the substance of which was sent to you, relating to the movements of Averell in the neighborhood of Warm Springs Mountain) mentioned the receipt of a telegram from General Lee at Richmond. A telegram from Fitz. Lee for Stuart, as I notified you this morning, stated that by orders of General Early he