War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0176 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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No. 26. Report of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army, commanding Army of Northern Virginia.


General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I respectfully submit herewith my report of the operations of this army from the battles before Richmond* to and including the battle of Cedar Mountain. The accompanying documents comprising reports of subordinate commanders, &c., are designated in the schedule attached to my report.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,



GENERAL: After the retreat of General McClellan to Westover his army remained inactive for about a month. His front was closely watched by a brigade of cavalry and preparations made to resist a renewal of his attempt upon Richmond from his new base. In the mean time another Federal army, under Major-General Pope, advanced southward from Washington and crossed the Rappahannock, as if to seize Gordonsville and move thence upon Richmond. The enemy also appeared in force at Fredericksburg and threatened the railroad from Gordonsville to Richmond, apparently for the purpose of co-operating with the movements of General Pope. To meet the advance of the latter and restrain, as far as possible, the atrocities which he threatened to perpetrate upon our defenseless citizens, General Jackson, with his own and Ewell's division, was ordered to proceed toward Gordonsville on July 13. Upon reaching that vicinity he ascertained that the force under General Pope was superior to his own, but the uncertainty that then surrounded the designs of General McClellan rendered it inexpedient to re-enforce him from the army at Richmond. He was directed to observe the enemy's movements closely, to avail himself of any opportunity to attack that might arise, and assistance was promised should the progress of General Pope put it in our power to strike an effectual blow without withdrawing the troops too long from the defense of the capital. The army at Westover continuing to manifest no intention of resuming active operations, and General Pope's advance having reached the Rapidan, General A. P. Hill, with his division, was ordered on July 27, to join General Jackson. At the same time, in order to keep McClellan stationary, or if possible to cause him to withdraw, General D. H. Hill, commanding south of James River, was directed to threaten his communications by seizing favorable positions below Westover from which to attack the transports in the river. That officer selected Coggins Point, opposite Westober, and the conduct of the expedition was committed to Brigadier-General French.

On the night of the 31st General French, accompanied by Brigadier-


*Inclosures relating to operations before Richmond appear in Series I, Vol. XI.