Orange, September 25, 1863.
Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET:
GENERAL: If it gives you as much pleasure to receive my warmest congratulations as it does me to convey them, this letter will not have been written in vain. My whole heart and soul have been with you and your brave corps in your late battle. It was natural to hear of Longstreet and Hill charging side by side, and pleasing to find the armies of the east and west vying with each other in valor and devotion to their country. A complete and glorious victory must ensue under such circumstances. I hope the result will equal the beginning and General Bragg will be able to reoccupy Tennessee. I grieve for the gallant dead and mourn for our brave Hood. The names of others have reached me, but I hope the report of their fall may not prove true. Finish the work before you, my dear general, and return to me. I want you badly adn you cannot get back too soon. Your departure was known to the enemy as soon as it occurred. General Meade has been actively engaged collecting his forces and is now up to the Rapidan. All his troops that were sent north have returned and re-enforcements are daily arriving. His cavalry and engineers are constantly reconnoitering, and a vigorous effort was made Monday and Tuesday to turn our left. We are endeavoring to maintain a bold front, and shall endeavor to delay them all we can till you return.
Present my sincere compliments and admiration to the officers around you,and accept for yourself and command my ardent wishes for the welfare and happiness of all.
Very trully, yours,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, September 25, 1863.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Colonel Ferguson reports all orders being executed as directed in your telegram of 18th excepting in regard to the regiment to go to Little Levels. Does not mention that my telegram must have been incorrectly received at Staunton. Ferguson remain at Crab Bottom Highland, with the Fourteenth [Virginia Cavalry] and Sweeney's battalion. Shall I repeat the order as to Littel Levels? If so, do what with Sweeney?
CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW,
HDQRS. DETP. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, September 25, 1863.
Colonel W. H. STEVENS,
Corps of Engineers, Richmond, Va.:
COLONEL: In reply to your letter of the 21st instant, in which you give me an extract from a confidential letter written by General Lee, in reference to a connection between the "intermediate" line around Manchester and the defenses landward at Drewry's Bluff and a second