HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 19, 1863-7 a. m.
Lieutenant General R. S. EWELL,
GENERAL: Your two letters of the 18th instant (one from 4 miles north of winchester and one from 4 miles north of Martinsburg) have been received.
Hood`s division was sent yesterday from Upperville to replace Early`s, in order that you might have with you your whole corps to operate with in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but later in the day the reports from General Stuart indicated that the enemy were moving up the roads concentrating at Snickersville, with the view of forcing a passage through the mountains to get into your rear, and Hood was directed to cross Snicker`s Ferry, and hold Snicker`s Gap, as we had only cavalry on that route. Longstreet`s corps has been operating with a view to embarrass the enemy as to our movements, so as to detain his forces east of the mountains, until A. P. Hill could get up to your support. But should the enemy force a passage through the mountains, you would be separated, which it is the object of Longstreet to prevent, if possible. Anderson`s division ought to be within reach to-day, and I will move him toward Berryville, so as either to relieve Early or support Hood, as circumstances may require. I very much regret that you have not the benefit of your whole corps, for, with that north of the Potomac, should we be able to detain General Hooker`s army from following you, you would be able to accomplish as much, unmolested, as the whole army could perform, with General Hooker in its front. Not knowing what force there is at Harper`s Ferry, or what can be collected to oppose your progress, I cannot give definite instructions, especially as the movements of General Hooker`s army are not yet ascertained. You must, therefore, be guided in your movements by controlling circumstances around you, endeavor to keep yourself supplied with provisions, send back any surplus, and carry out the plan you proposed, so far as in your judgment may seem fit. If your advance causes Hooker to cross the Potomac, or separate his army in any way, Longstreet can follow you. The last of Hill`s divisions had, on the evening of the 18th, advanced a few miles this side of Culpeper Court-House, en route to the Valley. I hope all are now well on their way. As soon as I can get definite information as to the movements of General Hooker and the approach of General Hill, I will write to you again.
I am, very respectfully and truly,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 20, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN,
Commanding in Hampshire:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 18th, from French`s Depot, reporting the destruction of the important bridges on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad over Evitt`s Creek, Patterson`s Creek, North and South Branches of the Potomac, with the depots, water-tanks, and engines between little Cacapon and Cumberland, has been received.