Near Richmond, Va., June 11, 1862.
Brigadier General THOMAS J. JACKSON,
Commanding Valley District:
GENERAL: Your recent successes have been the cause of the liveliest joy in this army as well as in the country. The admiration excited by your skill and boldness has been constantly mingled with solicitude for your situation. The practicability of re-enforcing you has been the subject of earnest consideration. It has been determined to do so at the expense of weakening this army. Brigadier-General Lawton, with six regiments from Georgia, is on the way to you, and Brigadier General Whiting, with eight veteran regiments, leaves here to-day.* The object is to enable you to crush the forces opposed to you. Leave your enfeebled troops to watch the country and guard the passes covered by your cavalry and artillery, and with your main body, including Ewell's division and lawton's and Whiting's commands, move rapidly to Ashland by rail or otherwise, as you may find most advantageous, and sweep down between the Chickahominy and Pamunkey, cutting up the enemy's communications, &c., while this army attacks General McClellan in front. He will thus, I think, be forced to come out of his intrenchments, where he is strongly posted on the chickahominy, and apparently preparing to move by gradual approaches on Richmond. Keep me advised of your movements, and, if practicable, precede your troops, that we may confer and arrange for simultaneous attack.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
Salt Sulphur Springs, June 11, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: There are persons endeavoring, I think, to keep the people from entering the ranger service, which I think can be made exceedingly useful in these mountains. One of the objections urged by many who would gladly enter the Confederate service is that they have been constantly informed that when mustered they are at once liable to be ordered to any point in the Confederacy, and that if they join the State service no such contingency can happen. My interpretation of the spirit of the law is, they are to serve permanently in the department in which they enter, unless in case the enemy should possess it, and in that event where they can render most service.
My reason for the opinion is, that the rangers can render most effective service where they know the country, its mountains, paths, and passes.
I beg that you will give me a letter embodying your opinions on the subject.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
P. S.-Please direct as heretofore, Dublin Depot.
*Orders for this re-enforcement printed in Series I, Vol. XI, Part III, p. 594.