(The same to Brigadier-General Marshall and Major Gens. E. K. Smith, R. S. Ewell, and T. J. Jackson.)
Richmond, Va., April 23, 1862.
Brigadier General C. W. FIELD,
Commanding, &c., near Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your telegram of to-day is received, and the quiet attitude of the enemy indicates at present a small force in your front. Other re-enforcements are on the way to join you besides those that have already reported. It is very desirable to complete the obstructions in the river at the shoals just above Rappahannock, and I wish them to be pushed to completion as fast as possible. If you can send a light battery to the Spotswood Bar the enemy could be prevented from ascending the river, and in the mean time the obstructions at Tappahannock could be completed. You could then move the battery from the Spotswood Bar to that at Tappahannock, and with the support of a small force of cavalry or infantry the river might be held.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
SWIFT RUN GAP, April 24, 1862.
(Received 9.50 p. m.)
Major General R. S. EWELL,
Commanding Potomac, District:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date has just been received. You are in the position I desired. I will, in case of an emergency, follow your suggestions, and continue to send couriers until I get an answer. I hope you punished the delinquent. There is a man a few miles from here named Kite, but he is loyal. There is a number of the same near Fisher's Gap, whose position I do not know. If you can give me his first name I may ascertain his view.
No news here. Much obliged for yesterday's paper.
Very truly, yours,
T. J. JACKSON.
Richmond, Va., April 25, 1862.
General THOMAS J. JACKSON,
Commanding Valley District:
GENERAL: I have received your letter, written on the evening of the 23rd, referring to a communication from General Field to General Ewell. I have hoped in the present divided condition of the enemy's forces that a successful blow may be dealt them by a rapid combination of our troops before they can be strengthened themselves either in their position or by re-enforcements. I do not know what strength General Banks shows in your front. As far as I can learn, General Augur's
55 R R-VOL XII, PT III