May 9, 1863



General Samuel Jones,

Commanding Department of Western Virginia:

General: I have just received your letter of the 25th ultimo. I will endeavor to make the exchange of cavalry you propose. I have telegraphed you to send General Jenkins to Staunton, or the most convenient point to him in the Valley. Please let me know the time he may be expected to arrive there.

I know that General Jenkins is a gallant soldier, but am unacquainted with his administrative qualities.

How would he answer to take General Jones’ place? There is great need of cavalry in this part of Virginia.

You see how General Stoneman has been running wild over the State, cutting our railroads, &c., and even going to within sight of Richmond. He has twenty-eight regiments of cavalry, organized into four divisions, forming a cavalry corps under himself. He must be restricted in his operations or we shall be ruined. Where can we obtain re-enforcements of cavalry from? I have received no detailed reports from Imboden and Jones. So far as heard from, they have been successful. Success is a necessity to us, and all must endeavor to win it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee,






Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 25, Part 2, pp. 789-790.


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 May 9