quainted. I would be pleased to effect this exchange, as I know of no one by whom I would rather be commanded than yourself. In conclusion, I promise you implicit an faithful obedience to orders, a thorough knowledge of the geography of the whole country, and 1,250 gallant spirits. Your name to myself and them will be the synonym of success. In addition to your recommendation, I expect, and am promised, that of every field officer in the brigade except General Marshall. Please direct to me at Callands, Pittsylvania County, Va.
In haste, yours, respectfully,
V. A. WITCHER,
Major First Battalion Virginia Mounted Rifles.
Rappahannock River, Va., August 23, 1862.
General W. W. LORING,
Commanding Kanawha Valley, W. Va.:
GENERAL: From an intercepted letter of General Pope's to General McClellan he places the whole of General Cox's force at 12,000, and that he had ordered him to break up his small posts, cut loose from his base at Point Pleasant, and so maneuver as to get you and General Marshall between himself and Lynchburg, drive you both in that direction, and unite with him on the James River. He states that this plan has been interrupted by the critical position in which General McClellan's army is placed since the battles around Richmond, and asks for consultation for a new programme. This letter was dated July 4. General Stuart reports that General Pope's chief quartermaster-[Charles N.] Goulding-who was captured last night, positively asserts that Cox's troops are being withdrawn by the way of Wheeling. This may be stated to deceive, but I give you the information that you may look to its truth an take advantage of it. Should that be the case, your command could be usefully employed to the north, and if you destroy several links in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad it would be of great advantage to us.
R. E. LEE,
Rappahannock River, August 23, 1862.
His Excellency President DAVIS:
I appointed Monday last, 18th instant, as the day for crossing the Rapidan, but the troops could not be got into position or provisioned. Monday it was hoped we should cross, but the cavalry had not got up, and the order was changed for Wednesday, 20th. This delay proved fatal t our success, for the enemy, through the instrumentality of a spy, got information of our plans and concentration on his left flank while threatening his right, and commenced Sunday night to retire his stores, &c., behind the Rappahannock. The atmosphere was unfavorable for observation, and fear of creating alarms kept reconnaissances quiet until Tuesday, when their withdrawal was discovered. By the time the army had crossed (Wednesday) everything but their cavalry had retired behind the Rappahannock, the fords of which were strongly guarded. Upon examination it was deemed best to turn their right flank, and