which his divisions moved, and even contained the announcement that two of his brigades would probably stop in Richmond and Wise's and Jenkins' take their places. I only communicated the movement to the Quartermaster-General on the night of the 6th instant, and it must have reached New York on the 7th or 8th in order to be in the Herald of the 9th. I fear that there has been great imprudence in talking on the part of our people, or that there may be improper persons among the officers or railroad clerks.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 14, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States, Richmond:
Mr. PRESIDENT: My letter of this morning will have informed you of the crossing of the Rappahannock by the cavalry of General Meade's army, and of the retirement of ours to the Rapidan. The enemy's cavalry so greatly outnumbers ours, and is generally accompanied by so large a force of infantry in its operations, that it must always force ours back. I advanced last night to the Rapidan a portion of Early's and Anderson's divisions, and arrested the farther progress of the enemy.
I have just returned from an examination of the enemy's cavalry on the Rapidan. It seems to consist of their entire force, three divisions, with horse artillery, and, as far I can judge, is the advance of General Meade's army. All the cavalry have been withdrawn from the lower Rappahannock, excepting some reduced pickets from Richards' Ford to Fredericksburg. Our scouts report that their whole army is under marching orders, and that wo corps have already crossed the line of the railroad, marched through Manassas on the 12th instant, for the Rappahannock. Three steamers heavily loaded with troops reached Alexandria on the 9th, and the troops were forwarded in trains, on the 10th, to the same destination.
Everything looks like a concentration of their forces, and it is stated by our scouts that they have learned of the large reduction of this army. I begin to fear that we have lost the use of troops here, where they are much needed, and that they have gone where they will do no good. I learn by the papers of to-day that General Rosecrans' army entered Chattanooga on the 9th, and that General Bragg has retired still farther into the interior. It also appears that General Burnside did not move to make a junction with Rosecrans, but marched upon Knoxville. General Bragg must, therefore, either have been misinformed of his movements, or he susequently changed them. Had I been aware that Knoxville was the destination of General Burnside, I should have recommended that General Longstreet be sent to oppose him, instead of to Atlanta.
If General Bragg is unalbe to bring General Rosecrans to battle, I think it would be better to return General Longstreet to this army, to enable me to oppose the advance of General Meade with a greater prospect of success. And it is a matter worthy of consideration