War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0876 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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it should be his intention to cross the Rappahannock it will be shown by his preparation of boats. But I think it more probable that he will move down the Northern Neck for the purpose of marauding or procuring provisions. I do not think his strength as great as has been represented to you, and believe that it would be in your power to follow him and cut him off from his communication at Aquia. Should he attempt to cross the river it will probably be at Port Royal, with a view of threatening your rear and the communication of the Army of the Peninsula. In that event you must certainly oppose him with your whole force.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION,

Near Stanardsville, April 30, 1862.

General R. E. LEE, Richmond:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report my division still at this point, in obedience to instructions from General Jackson.

I beg to call your attention to the fact, formerly reported by me, that I have no force except cavalry pickets between this point and General Field. The only defense, as far as I am concerned, east of this being the three cavalry companies left on the line of the Rappahannock. This I reported to General Jackson.

I had an interview with General Jackson the other day and am now starting to see him again by his request.

I have the best means at my disposal employed in obtaining information of the enemy on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad; expect news to-night, which will be communicated at once to General Jackson.

Both in front of General jackson and in Fauquier the enemy seem to be living on the country, paying for nothing and wantonly destroying the resources.

There is a large quantity of wheat, stock cattle, &c., on this line that ought to be secured for future need.

From the conversation held with General Jackson I inferred that he considered the force of General Banks too strong to be attacked with confidence by our combined command.

I beg leave to say that it seem important to me that the whole line, including the forces south of Fredericksburg (Generals Field and Anderson), should be under one general, authorized to combine them against any point deemed advisable. This does not seem the case at present, and the enemy are exhausting the country at free cost.

I send this by Major-Green, who goes to Richmond on public service.

Respectfully, &c.,

R. S. EWELL,

Major-General.

P. S.-I am subsisting from the vicinity-probably within 10 miles. I would be able to do so for ten days longer.

I ordered ten days' supply laid in at Gordonsville.

My transportation would enable me to carry probably eight days' rations.

R. S. E.

12 m.-I have just returned from my interview with General Jackson. He moves toward Staunton and I take his position.