HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 15, 1863-7 a. m. Mr.
PRESIDENT: On the 10th, I put Ewell's corps in motion for the Valley. He reports, under date of the 13th, that, with Rode's division, he drove the enemy out of Berryville, and, with Early's and Johnson's, drove him his entrenchments at Winchester, where, it seems, he is more strongly fortified than supposed . According to our understanding, I presume he has advanced toward the Potomac, leaving a division in front of Winchester . General A. P. Hill reported yesterday that the Federal force in front of him withdrew from the south side of the Rappahanncok on the night of the 13th, and by morning had nearly all disappeared, leaving strong pickets on the river. One division was seen going over the Stafford Hills, in the direction of Aquia, and he supposes the main body to have taken that route. Our scouts report a general movement of the enemy up the Rappahannock, but I have got no certain information on that point ; I know a large force has been thrown toward Warrenton . The uncertainty of the reports as to threatened expeditions of the enemy along the coast of North Carolina, and between the Rappahannock and James Rivers in Virginia, has caused delay in the movements of this army, and it may now be too late to accomplish all that was desired . I am still ignorant as to the extent of the expedition said to be moving up the Peninsula, and hesitate to draw the whole of A. P. Hill's corps to me. Two pickett's brigades are at Hanover Junction and Richmond, so that I am quite weak.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States . -
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 18, 1863. Mr.
PRESIDENT: The enemy has been thrown back from the line of the Rappahannock, and is concentrating, as far as I can learn, in the vicinity of Centerville . The last report from the scouts indicate that he is moving over toward the Upper Potomac, whether with a view of proceeding to Harper's Ferry, crossing the Potomac River into Maryland, or advancing through the mountains in to the Valley, I cannot yet decided . Longstreet's corps has moved east of the Blue Ridge, with the view of creating embarrassment as to our plans, while Ewell, having driven the enemy from Winchester and Martinsburg, has seizes upon the Potomac, so as to enable General Hill's corps top move up from Fredericksburg . In the meantime, General Stuart has held his cavalry the a[[roaches to the Blue Ridge, and has, in various conflicts with the enemy's cavalry, punished them severely, having captured more than 400 prisoners, with their arms and horses m and several standards. I have received no official returns, but learn from General Ewell's reports that he has captured in the Valley more than 4, 000 prisoners, about 30 pieces of artillery, 250 wagons, 20 ambulances, 400 horses, a lot of ammunition, &c. General Milroy, with a small body of organized troops and some stragglers into Harper's Ferry.