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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 2 (Chancellorsville)
Page 627 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

FREDERICKSBURG, February 16, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I informed you on the 14th that General Pickett's division was on the march to Richmond. It is directed to halt on the Chickahominy, where it can find shelter in woods and procure from Richmond provisions and forage.

General Pickett will send forward an officer to select position and make arrangements. Will you be kind enough to afford him the necessary facilities? Should circumstances require him to be farther advanced, I must request you to give him orders. He can take position below Richmond, on the right or left bank of the river, as you may designate.

Upon the reception last night of your dispatch of yesterday, I directed Hood's division to move to Hanover Junction. It will halt there unless required to advance.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

FREDERICKSBURG, February 16, 1863.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President of the Confederate States:

Mr. PRESIDENT: On the 14th, I advised the Secretary of War that Pickett's division was ordered to Richmond. On the reception last night of his dispatch of the 15th, convening your wishes, I directed Hood's division to be put in motion this morning for Hanover Junction. I will halt it there or continue its march, as circumstances may require. I have heard as yet of the embarkation of but one corps of General Hooker's army, the Ninth, formerly commanded by General Burnside. It reached Hampton Roads Wednesday, the 11th. Whether it is intended for operations there, or farther south, ought to be ascertained at once. The concentration of a large force of the enemy at Aquia Creek, with other indications, renders it probable that a general movement is in progress. I learn from Baltimore that all transports of every description are ordered from there to Aquia, and deserters report that their army is going either to Tennessee or North Carolina; I think more probably the latter. Their exterior line of pickets is as extended as before their recent advance to the Rappahannock, but the most lamentable part of the present condition of things is the impossibility of at tacking them with any prospect of advantage. The rivers and streams are all swollen beyond fording; we have no bridges, and the roads are in a liquid state, and nearly impracticable. In addition, our horses and mules are in that reduced state that the labor and exposure incident to an attack would result in their destruction, and leave us destitute of the means of transportation. By making a circuit by Culpeper, and making use of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, it would still leave us such a long line to haul over, that in the present condition of the country I fear it would result in failure and the discouragement of our troops, even provided we could get the provisions and forage to Rappahannock Station.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.


Page 627 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 25, Part 2 (Chancellorsville)
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