sissippi, and fortify it strongly, so that it may be held by a small garrison, which could be supplied with ammunition and provisions, to enable it to stand a siege, thus leaving as many troops as possible free to operate against the enemy. I think that in this way a land attack against such position as we may select can be prevented . I am, with great respect, Your Excellency's obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States.
- HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, July 17, 1863.
GENERAL: General Fitz . Lee attacked the enemy last evening near Kearnesville, and drove them to within a mile of Shepherdstown, when night put an end to the contest . The enemy, under cover of darkness, retired, taking the Charlestown road, a leaving many of their wounded in Shepherdstown and the vicinity, and their dead on the field . Their loss in reported very heavy . The enemy's force is stated to have been Gregg's division, General Gregg commanding in person. I regret to state that Colonel James H. Drake, of the First Virginia Cavalry, was mortally wounded in a charge of his regiment . I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector general, Richmond, Va.
- HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, July 21, 1863.
GENERAL: I have seen in Northern papers what purported t be an official dispatch of General Meade, stating that he had captured brigade of infantry, two pieces of artillery, two caissons, and a large number of small-arms as this army retired to the south bank of the Potomac, on the 13th and 14th instant. This dispatch has been copied into the Richmond papers, and, as its official character may cause it to be believed, I desire to state that it is incorrect . The enemy did not capture any organized n=body of men on that occasion, but only stragglers, and such s were left asleep on the road, exhausted by the fatigue and exposure of one of the most inclement nights I have ever known at this season of the year. It rained without cessation, rendering the road by which our troops marched to the bridge at Falling Waters very difficult to pass, and causing so much delay that the last of the troops did not cross the river at the bridge until 1 p. m. on the 14th . While the column was thus detained on the road, a number of men, worn down with fatigue, lay down in barns and by the way-side, and though officers were sent back to arouse them as the troops moved on, the darkness and rain prevented them from finding all, and many were in this way left behind . Two guns were left in the road. The horses that drew them became exhausted, and the officers went forward to procure others, When they returned, the rear of the column had passed the guns so far that it was