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headquarters, Valley District, June 1, 1864.
General: This will be handed to you by General Means, of Shenandoah, who goes to meet you at my request, and will state to you fully the condition of affairs in the valley. I am holding out every inducement I can to Hunter to follow me up as far as Mount Crawford. If he does, and we can get him on “a run,” we can ruin him. He is playing devilish cautious, however, and may not take the bait.

Colonel Jackson telegraphed me last night that the enemy in Greenbrier was moving, he believed in the direction of Staunton. If so, I can, with North river in my front, hold Hunter till you thrash Crook and Averell, and then we can pay our respects jointly to Mr. Hunter.

Yours, respectfully,

J. D. Imboden, Brigadier-General. Brigadier-General Wm. E. Jones, Commanding and en route, Lynchburg, Va.

Another paper contained an appeal from the officer in command at Lynchburg, setting forth the value of that place as a centre of communications and a depot of supplies, and asking for more troops to defend it against a sudden raid of the Yankees. This paper had been referred to General Jones by the Richmond authorities, indicating thereby that the defence of Lynchburg devolved upon him.

Another suggestive paper was a telegram from Jefferson Davis to Jones, urging him to guard especially against raids into the western portion of North Carolina, intimating that they were to be dreaded for political as well as military reasons.

These proofs of the fears and weakness of the enemy, together with the encouraging reports received from the North of General Grant's progress, induced us to hope that the plan of an extensive and damaging campaign, discussed at the outset, might now be successfully carried out. It was determined, therefore, to move on Lynchburg by way of Lexington and Buchanan, crossing the Blue Ridge at the Peaks of Otter. From Lynchburg we could operate against the Southside and Danville railroads with our cavalry, cutting off the enemy's only means of supply, liberating the Union prisoners confined at Danville, and rendering necessary the speedy evacuation of the rebel capital.

If General Lee was forced to detach a considerable force to oppose us, and prevent the execution of these designs, an equally desirable and important object would be accomplished; the main army of the rebellion would be weakened; General Grant would be relieved to that extent, while we had always safe lines of retreat open to the westward, through the passes of the mountains.

In addition to these considerations, the country, we found, afforded abundant supplies for our troops, while the inhabitants were quiet and, in many instances, even favorable to us. We had also assurances that in south-western Virginia and North Carolina we might hope for active assistance from the inhabitants. Our progress, too, revealed a much larger amount of provisions and manufactories for producing material of war than we had expected, and the destruction of this kind of property was immense.

Having sent back a convoy of prisoners, negroes, and refugees, with an empty wagon train and a strong escort of men whose terms of service had nearly expired, the Army of West Virginia started southward from Staunton on the 10th of June, moving up the valley by four parallel roads. On the 11th we occupied Lexington, and there were overtaken by a supply train sent from Martinsburg, containing commissary stores, clothing, and ammunition — this latter being most essential, as our supply was short. Although these supplies were most acceptable, this train, two hundred additional wagons, embarrassed our movements considerably.

While it was important that we should have moved from Lexington without delay, we were detained, awaiting the arrival of General Duffie's column of cavalry, which marched on the road next to the Blue Ridge, and who did not report until the thirteenth, in the afternoon. He had crossed the bridge at Tye river Gap, struck the Charlottesville and Lynchburg railroad near Amherst Court-house, destroyed it to some extent, making considerable captures of men, horses, and material. He was confused and detained by the difficult and intricate character of the country.

Upon examining these prisoners I was informed that Grant had received a severe repulse; that Sheridan, who was moving to cooperate with us at the head of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, had been repulsed at Louisa Court-house and turned back; that Breckinridge had reinforced Vaughn at Rockfish Gap with four or five thousand men, and that Ewell's whole corps was advancing by the way of Charlottesville.

On the other hand we had news, from sources equally entitled to credit, that Lynchburg was undefended, and that its inhabitants were fleeing in panic from Sheridan's advance. Cut off from all reliable sources of information, the country filled with exaggerated and contradictory rumors, it was determined to solve the problem by a bold and decisive advance on Lychburg.

The details of this movement through Buchanan, Peaks of Otter, and Liberty, the action at Quaker Church, and the handsome repulse of of the enemy's attack in front of Lynchburg, have already been described in your official report. In the last-named action, which took place about the middle of the day on the eighteenth of June, we took several prisoners belonging to Ewell's corps. The statement of these men convinced us beyond a doubt that the Army of the Potomac had suffered a temporary check before Petersburg; that Sheridan had been foiled in his attempt to open communication with us; and that General Lee had

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