War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0783 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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and to put him in command here, than to keep them there inactive and this army efficient from paucity of numbers.

There are many things about which I would like to consult You Excellency, and I should be delighted, if your health and convenience suited, if you could visit the army. I could get you a comfortable room in the vicinity of my headquarters, and I know you would be content with our camp fare. Should this, however, be inconvenient, I will endeavor to go to Richmond, though I feel my presence here now is essential.

Hoping that you health is entirely restored, and that you will be attended with every success and happiness,

I am, with great esteem, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, May 7, 1863.

Lieutenant General JAMESE LONGSTREER,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I have just received yours of 2nd instant upon my return to my former camp.

My letter of the 1st instant, to which you refer, was intended to apprise you of my intended movement, and to express the wish rather than the expectation that one of your divisions could co-operate in it. I did not intend to express the opinion that you could reach me in time, as I did not think it practicable. The emergency that made your presence so desirable had passed for the present, so far as I can see, and I desire that you will not distress your troops by a forced movement to join me, or sacrifice, for that purpose any public interest that your sudden departure might make it necessary to abandon. The only immediate service that your troops could render would be to protect our communications from the enemy's cavalry and assist in punishing them for the damage they have done.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

FREDERICKSBURG, May 7, 1863.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

General Fitz. Lee reports, from information received that enemy's cavalry, in large force, with artillery, reached Orange, Springs about noon yesterday from the direction of General Railroad. They crossed Plank road last night about 11 o'clock. It is probably Stoneman, on his way to the Rappahannock. General Stuart, with Fitz. Lee's brigade, will endeavor to strike them.

R. E. LEE,

General.

GORDONSVILLE, May 7, 1863.

General ELZEY:

I informed General Longstreet yesterday that General Stoneman, with the main body of his cavalry, in three columns, was crossing