If Banks goes down the valley I wish you to follow him, so that he may feel that if he leaves the valley, not only will we reoccupy it, but that he will also be liable to be attacked so soon as he shall have sufficiently weakened his forces on this side the Shenandoah. My opinion is that Banks would be very averse to diminishing his present strength, and that the masked batteries to which you recently referred have been constructed in consequence of his apprehending an attack.
Very truly, yours,
T. J. JACKSON.
Richmond, Va., May 14, 1862.
Major General THOMAS J. JACKSON,
Commanding, &c., via Gordonsville and Swift Run Gap, Va.:
GENERAL: I am directed by General Lee to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th instant,* and to convey to you an expression of his gratification at the handsome and energetic manner in which you have driven the enemy and achieved a victory. He is of the opinion that Banks cannot be as strong as he has been represented; if so, his course is inexplicable. He thinks that if you can form a junction with General Ewell with your combined forces you would be able to drive Banks from the valley.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. TAYLOR,
(Received at Gordonsville May 14, 1862.)
General R. S. EWELL, Swift Run Gap:
Unless Banks leaves the valley entirely, you must remain in present position until General Jackson's safe return is secured or until otherwise ordered.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT,
May 14, 1862-7.20 a. m.
Major General R. S. EWELL:
GENERAL: Your dispatches of 2 and 2.15 p. m. of yesterday have been received. If Banks is going to Fredericksburg, can you not send forward your cavalry and Ashby's and break up the Manassas Gap Railroad and so operate against Banks as to delay him until I can join you. This evening I will be about 40 miles from Harrisonburg. Ashby is familiar with the country about Fauquier. Please let me hear from you at once.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. J. JACKSON,