CULPEPER, June 9.
The enemy crossed the Rappahannock this morning at 5 a. m., at the various fords from Beverly to Kelly`s, with large force of cavalry, accompanied by infantry and artillery. After a severe contest till 5 p. m., General Stuart drove them across the river.
Another dispatch of same date he writes:*
Cooke had better be advanced to Hanover Junction and Jenkins to the Chickahominy. Corse is ordered to join Pickett. Enemy crossed Rappahannock at Beverly Ford-cavalry, infantry, and artillery-in large force this morning. Prisoners from two corps have been captured this side of the river. Two other corps are reported to be advancing north of the Rappahannock.
R. E. LEE.
The belief is entertained that troops have been and are being withdrawn from the south side of James River, and that an attempt will be made by a movement from York River, as a base, to cut the railroad between Richmond and the Rappahannock, and perhaps march upon the capital, unless it is protected by some other than local force. Therefore it is, that General Lee asks that Cooke`s brigade be sent to Hanover Junction and Jenkins` brigade to the Chickahominy.
Your wish to draw Jenkins` brigade farther south has not been forgotten, and your remarks in relation to Colquitt`s brigade are well remembered. It is clearly perceived that the withdrawal of a brigade from your line weakens it too much; but you will not fail to appreciate the necessity here, and will not undervalue the importance of a movement by Lee toward the Potomac.
With better knowledge of what is before you than is possessed here, the matter is submitted to you with the hope that it may be practicable for you to send a brigade (Jenkins` or Colquitt`s) to the Chickahominy.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, June 10, 1863.
Brigadier-General ECHOLS, &c.:
GENERAL: Colonel [J. M.] Corns was yesterday ordered to report to you with the two remaining companies of his regiment. The major-general commanding directs you to send as large a part of your cavalry as you can spare to scout the roads through Pocahontas, and to keep a sharp lookout for any movement of the enemy from that direction.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 10, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I beg leave to bring to your attention a subject with reference to which I have thought that the course pursued by
* See Lee to Davis, June 9, p. 874.