column alone will be able to hold Banks in check and prevent his advance up the valley; but if it will, and there is no immediate use for General Ewell's command with yours, I would suggest the propriety of its being haled in readiness to re-enforce General Field. Please communicate with me on this subject. Should I get further information from Fredericksburg of importance I will transmit it to you. General Field has abandoned Fredericksburg, burned the bridges over the Rappahannock, and retired 14 miles south of the town.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE.
[APRIL 21, 1862.]
[GENERAL THOMAS J. JACKSON:]
MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours of 9.45 a. m. the 20th has just arrived. You there direct me:
When on your way here you reach the turnpike from Gordonsville to Madison Court-House, please halt your command, &c.
The road from this place to Orange Court-House being bad and several miles longer than from Gordonsville, where is an excellent pike leading to Stanardsville and also to Madison Court-House, I have selected, as I advised you, the road via Gordonsville, particularly as I have railroad to Gordonsville. I will therefore halt at Gordonsville until I hear further from you, which I take to meet the intention as near as possible of your letter. The largest part of my division reached Gordonsville this morning. At Gordonsville I am nearer to Stanardsville, and by a much better road, then from this place.
Should you wish, I can move at an hour's warning to the intersection of the road leading between Orange and Stanardsville with that between Gordonsville and Madison Court-House. I shall be at Gordonsville to night. I was there last night, and requested General Taylor to write early to-day, explaining my position.
There is nothing new since I wrote last.
R. S. EWELL,
P. S.-As I was closing this letter yours of 2.20 of yesterday was handed me. Owing to the great delay of the trains, my division will not be in a fit condition to move to-day. Roads are nearly impassable. As at Gordonsville, I am still in two days' march of Swift Run Gap. Not more than that, as I believe, from Fisher's Gap, and as my teams, &c., will be kept in better order, I would recommend that I be left at Gordonsville until the time you decide my movements either to Fisher's Gap or Swift Run Gap. In addition, the road from the point you designate to Stanardsville is represented as vary bad; at this time nearly impassable. Please let me hear from you at Gordonsville as soon as possible. I cannot possibly move before to-morrow.
R. S. EWELL,
One element in the above proposition is that I have the railroad. Should I be recalled toward Richmond, I will send another express this