attending to their wants and comforts, and enforcing cleanliness, &c., I fear the sanitary condition of the army will not improve. It is the want of this attention and provision for comfort that causes our men so soon to break down under hardship.
I have written to you in reference to General Loring's movements, and am glad to find my suggestions to him correspond in the main with your instructions.
General McClellan's army is apparently quiescent. He himself is at Sharpsburg; his main body in that vicinity. I think he is yet unable to move, and finds difficulty in procuring provisions more than sufficient from day to day.
General Sumner is strengthening himself at Harper's Ferry. The brigades over the Potomac are being reconstructed. My great anxiety is, lest, with other troops, General McClellan may move upon Richmond. As at present there is no way in which I can endanger his safety, I have been in hopes that he would cross the river and move up the valley, where I wish to get him, but he does not seem so disposed.
I have been endeavoring to move back to Staunton everything captured at Harper's Ferry and all of valley in Winchester, together with our sick and wounded, in order that I may be unembarrassed. As soon as this is accomplished-which I regret to say from our weakness in transportation progresses slowly-unless something more advantageous offers, I shall move toward the Blue Ridge, so as to be prepared for any advance toward Richmond on the part of the enemy. I think it advisable that such troops as are north of James River, and not required for the support of the batteries at Drewry's Bluff, should be posted on the Rapidan and North Anna. They will guard the railroad, and by their presence prevent aggressions by small bodies of the enemy.
Four thousand four hundred pairs of shoes arrived yesterday, and 2,000 pairs expected today, which I hope will cover the bare feet in the army.
I am delighted to learn that the prospect of affairs in Kentucky and Louisiana is so bright. As regards Maryland, she is so tightly tied that I fear nothing but extraneous aid can relieve her. The military government of the United States has been so perfected by the recent proclamations of President Lincoln, which you have no doubt seen, and civil liberty so completely trodden under foot, that I have strong hopes that the conservative portion of that people, unless dead to the feeling of liberty, will rise and depose the party now in power.
I wish I felt that I deserved the confidence you express in me. I am only conscious of an earnest desire to advance the interests of the country and of my inability to accomplish my wishes. The brave men of this army fully deserve you thanks, and I will take pleasure in communicating them.
I am, with the highest respect and esteem your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 2, 1862.
In reviewing the achievements of the army during the present campaign, the commanding general cannot withhold the expression of his admiration of the indomitable courage it has displayed in battle and its cheerful endurance of privation and hardship on the march. Since your