HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 29, 1863.
Brigadier General A. G. JENKINS, Commanding in Valley:
GENERAL: Inclosed I send two copies of a general order* concerning our soldier who may be captured by the enemy, and who at the time of capture may have in their possession, or on their persons, clothing or accouterments belonging to the uniform of soldiers or officers of the United States Army. I desire you to send one of these copies by the first opportunity, through flag of truce, to the Federal general commanding in the Valley of Virginia.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Fredericksburg, May 30, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I hope you received my reply to your dispatch of yesterday.
When in Richmond, I gave General D. H. Hill discretionary instructions, stating my belief that the contest of the summer would take place in Virginia; to apportion his force to the strength of the enemy, and send me every man he could spare. He declined to act under those instructions, and requested positive instructions. He now offers objections, which, if previously presented, I should not have issued the latter. you will see that i am unable to operate under these circumstances, and request to be relieved from any control of the department form the James to the Cape Fear River. I have for nearly a month been endeavoring to get this army in a condition to move-to anticipate an expected blow from the enemy. I fear I shall have to receive it here at a disadvantage, or to retreat. The enemy will either make a combined movement to force me back, or transfer his army to the James River. If I was stronger, I think I could prevent either, and force him back.
You will perceive by the return of the 20th, forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector General, the effective strength of the army. If I could use it altogether, or had only to oppose General Hooker's army, I should be content. But my wish has been to organize a force to defend Richmond against the army apparently collecting on the York River. I can get no positive information as to its strength. I have no knowledge of the scouts sent in that direction. General Longstreet, when on the Blackwater, set a person to Washington. He could get no farther than Baltimore. No one but the military wee allowed on the cars from Baltimore to Washington, said to be Mitchell's from the west, going to General Hooker. At Old Point, on his return, he saw some of foster' troops, and was informed that Generals Dix, Keyes, and Foster were at West Point. There were only three companies at Fort Monroe.
I received this information with some allowance, but it may be taken as evidence that troops are being thrown into Virginia.
I only directed Ransom's brigade to be sent to Richmond; Jenkins' to Hanover Junction; Cooke's to wait till movements of the enemy could be further ascertained.