HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., April 29, 1862.
Commanding, &c., Bonsack's Depot, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 22nd was received this morning, and also your telegram of yesterday's date, stating that you were retiring with your force in the direction of Bonsack's Depot, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, for reasons given. In my letter of the 18th instant, which it appears you had received, it was intended to point out the general policy considered best to be pursued by you in the event of the contingencies referred to. After sending back your supplies, shoes, &c., to Lynchburg, and rendering your army as light and movable as possible, it was not intended that you should retire with your whole force, leaving the country of your operations exposed until the necessity arrived. Relieved of the embarrassment of transportation, it was hoped that you could keep possession of the country between Lewisburg and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and yet be prepared to retire toward the railroad when necessary, with a view to the defense of the point threatened. It was thought that the line of the Peter's Mountain might have afforded points for defending the approaches of the railroad, and that when you did withdraw it would be by the route through Peterstown, according to previous understanding, as expressed in your letter of the 18th March. As regards the movements of the regiments of Colonels Peters and Jenifer, you have already been advised, and authorized to retain the former. The order for the cavalry was predicated upon your report of scarcity of forage and its consequent inefficiency.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK,
April 29, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding C. S. Army, Richmond:
GENERAL: The enemy's movements, to which I referred in my telegram last evening from General Field's camp, were reported in the inclosed letter. Of course we can only rely on such information, however respectable the source, so far as to increase vigilance. The information as to the movements down the river was confirmed by our scouts last evening to the extent that a regiment of cavalry and some artillery arrived at Snowdon (Mr. John Seddon's) farm and pitched their tents. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, who is heading a force in person to-day, will give me some further information. I think the design of the enemy is to move soon in the direction of Richmond (and that they are collecting a large force for the purpose), with a view of occupying en route the rear of the Peninsular Army. I will do what I can to watch him, but in front of his large force, so much of which is cavalry and artillery, I do not think we can be very bold until more troops arrive. I therefore respectfully renew my application to have Walker's brigade, also Bruce's battery, one section of which was taken from my brigade and retained at Goldsborough, as well as a regiment of that brigade, Stovall's (or Cobb's) cavalry, and such other troops as can be sent.
I have ordered General Gregg's (Second) brigade to halt at Milford and throw out pickets, and have added another regiment to it. I have