Colonel Wood made his boat expedition to the Chesapeake, his purpose and destination were not known to the other members of my staff, nor to the Secretary of the Navy, yet he found the vessels he boarded had been put on their guard against his coming.
I caled Mr. Seddon's attention to your remarks on the subject of the information given in relation to the movement of General Longstreet's corps and other troops. He could suggest nothing as to the way in which the fact had transpired.
The War Department assures me that no effort shall be spared to fill up the ranks of your army, and as soon as circumstances permit, the divisions which you have sent to the southwest will be directed to hasten back to you. Should the Legislature of Virginia make provision for forcing all men able to bear arms into service as militia, it will probably benefit the enrollment of recruits for the army.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 16, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States, Richmond, Va.:
Mr. PRESIDENT: No attempt has been made by the enemy to cross the Rapidan since the 14th. He seems to be collecting forces in the vicinity of Culpeper Court-House. Whether it is with a view of its occupancy or of a farther advance, is not yet apparent. A few days will probably disclose.
Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, who was commissioned for a command in the Maryland Line, is now without one. He has commanded General John M. Jones' brigade since the battle of Gettysburg, But General Jones, having recovered from his wounds, has returned to duty. The Maryland Line has been divided; the cavalry assigned to Fitz. Lee's brigade and the infantry to George H. Steuart's.
There are eight companies of infantry, seven of cavalry, and a battalion of light artillery. It is desired to keep the Maryland Line united, as I believe was contemplated by the act of Congress organizing it. I could place the whole under Colonel Johnson, assign it to duty at Hanover Junction, and bring Cooke's brigade to this army. The troops of the Maryland Line were temporarily separated on the expedition to Pennsylvani, as they could not do duty together with advantage. The infantry ought to be sufficient to guard the bridges over the Annas and the cavalry to guard the roads of approach in that direction. Cooke's brigade would give some strength to this army.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF W. VA. AND EAST TENN.,
Zollicoffer, September 16, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
The indications in front of Jonesborough yesterday were such that I did not think it necessry to withdraw to the line of the Watauga