General Jackson, in command of our left wing, was put in motion Thursday for the purpose, while General Longstreet threatened their left with our right. The ground on the left bank of the Rappahannock commands that on the right, and, as the examination presented, it was found necessary to extend as high up as the road leading to Warrenton Springs. Yesterday General Stuart, with the cavalry, crossed above the road, and proceeded to cut the enemy's communication at Catlett's Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. On account of violent storm he could not burn the bridge over Cedar Creek and was unable to cut it down. He accomplished some minor advantages, destroyed some wagons, and captured some prisoners.
In the mean time Jackson was crossing his force near the Warrenton Springs until interrupted by high water, occasioned by the rain, which has also put a stop to the movement in that direction from this point, as Hazel or Aestham's River is in swimming condition to-day. There appears to be a heavy rain in the mountains at this time, which will no doubt continued the high water and give the enemy ample time to re-enforce General Pope with McClellan's army if desired. I can get no news from our troops on the North Anna. If McClellan has not halted at Fredericksburg the troops there will be required here. If we are able to change the theater of the war from James River to the north of the Rappahannock we shall be able to consume provisions and forage now being used in supporting the enemy. This will be some advantage and prevent so great a draft upon other parts of the country. General Pope's chief quartermaster was captured last night by General Stuart, an the is reported to state that General Cox's forces are being withdrawn from the Kanawha Valley by way of Wheeling. If the campaign could be pushed in this direction it would have the effect of relieving other parts of the country. To do this all available re-enforcements should be sent here.
I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Rappahannock River, August 23, 1862.
(Received August 28, 1862.)
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: 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 him and General Marshall between himself and Lynchburg, derive them both in that direction, and unite with him on the James River. He states that this plan had been interrupted by the critical condition 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 (Goulding), who was captured last night, positively asserts that Cox's troops are being withdrawn by the way of Wheeling. Under the foregoing information I have suggested to General Loring that the might be usefully employed to the north, and by the destruction of several links of the Baltimore