fording stage, and the present storm will keep it so for at least week. I shall, therefore, have to accept battle if the enemy offers it, whether I wish to or not, and as the result is in the hands of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and known to Him only, I deem it prudent to make every arrangement in our power to meet any emergency that may arise. From information gathered from the papers, I believe that the troops from North Carolina and the coast of Virginia, under Generals Foster and Dix, have been ordered to the Potomac, and that recently additional re-enforcement have been sent from the coast of South Carolina Banks. If I am correct in my opinion, this will liberate most of the troops in those regions, and should Your Excellency have not already done so, I earnestly that all that can be spared be concentrated on the Upper Rappahannock, under General Beauregard, with directions to cross that river and make a demonstration upon Washington . This command will answer the double purpose of affording protection to the capital at Richmond and relieving the pressure upon this army. I hope Your Excellency will understand that I am not in the least discouraged, or that my faith in the protection of an all-merciful Providence, or in the fortitude of this army, is at all shaken . But, though conscious that the enemy has been much shattered in the recent battle, I am aware that he can be easily re-enforced, while no addition can be made to our numbers . The measure, therefore, that I have recommended is altogether one of a prudential nature. I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President, &c.
P. S. - I see it stated in a letter from the special correspondent of the New York Times that a bearer of dispatches from Your Excellency to myself was captured at hagerstown on the 2nd July, and the dispatched are said to be of the greatest importance, and to have a great bearing on " coming events . " I have thought proper to mention this, that you may know whether it is so. -
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, July 10, 1863.
Mr. PRESIDENT: Since my letter of the 8th instant, nothing of importance, in a military point of view, has transpired . The Potomac continues to be past fording, and, owing to the rapidity of the stream, and the limited we have for crossing, the prisoners and wounded are not yet over. I hope they will be able to cross to-day . I have not received any definite intelligence of the movements or designs of the enemy . A scout that a column which followed us across the mountain has reached Waynesborough, Pa., and other bodies are reported as moving by way of Fredericksburg from Emmitsburg, as if approaching in this direction . If these reports be correct, it would appear to be intention of the enemy to deliver battle, and we have no alternative but to accept it if offered . The army is in good condition, and we have a good supply of ammunition, The supply of flour is affected by the highs waters, which interfere with the working of the mills.