Confederate General Jubal Early writes from Staunton to General Lee in January, 1865, concerning the movement of Union troops. He also expresses his negative opinion of Confederate independent, irregular commands such as Mosby's raiders.
Gen. R. E. LEE,
Cmdg. Army of Northern Virginia:
January 31, 1865.
I send accompanying report, which I think places it beyond all doubt that a considerable portion of Thomas' army has gone to Grant or Sherman. Perhaps it may be intended to operate against Wilmington. I have had a report that Powell's division of cavalry had gone to Petersburg, but I do not think it can be so. It has probably been sent west along the railroad to prevent any interruption of it. I will send Fitz. Lee's division of cavalry to you if you can feed it. I wish you would get the Secretary of War to revoke the exemption granted McNeill's company from the operation of the act abolishing partisan rangers. This command has refused to acknowledge Maj. Gilmor's authority, whom I have found it necessary to send to Hardy to take charge of McNeill's and Woodson's companies and the remnant of his own battalion. One of my principal objects in this was that he might cut the railroad and impede the passage of troops over it, and this has been thwarted by the refusal of these companies to acknowledge his authority. The fact is that all those independent organizations, not excepting Mosby's, are injurious to us, and the occasional dashes they make do not compensate for the disorganization and dissatisfaction produced among the other troops.
J. A. EARLY,
Bibliographic Information : Letter Reproduced from The War of The Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 51, Serial No. 108, Pages 1060-1061, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1997.