and Ohio Railroad serve most advantageously the operations in this direction.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Jeffersonton, Va., August 24, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States, Richmond, Va.:
Mr. PRESIDENT: The enemy is in force before us, occupying the left bank of the Rappahannock, and has greatly the advantage of us in artillery. I send you an autograph letter from General Pope to General McClellan. It is of old date (July 4), but interesting, as exhibiting his plans of campaign when you compare it with its failure. I have another letter from General Pope to General Halleck, dated 20th instant, placing his whole force for duty at 45,000, independent of Burnside, and stating his plan to be to hold us in check until McClellan can join him from the Lower Rappahannock. General Fitz John Porter is to march from Falmouth, and is the advance of McClellan.
I think I can feed the whole army here if Colonel Northrop will give the necessary directions about collecting beef. If we can secure this country, the millers will give us flour. At first there will be difficulties, by they will be softened as we advance, and we shall relieve other parts of the country and employ what would be consumed and destroyed by the enemy. The theater of war will thus be changed, for a season at least, unless we are overpowered.
This last letter of Pope, I think, makes it certain that McClellan's destination is to join Pope. The whole army, I think, would be united here as soon as possible. I have ordered up Ripley, whom I had advanced to Culpeper, and will direct General G. W. Smith to send on McLaws, D. H. Hill, and other available troops. Should you not agree with me in the propriety of this step, please countermand the order and let me know. General Loring should also be directed to operate northward and ascend the valley of the Shenandoah, so as to threaten their possession of the valley. In the event of the information I sent you about the withdrawal of Cox proving true, Hampton's cavalry I particularly require. The defenses around Richmond must be perfected and completed with hired labor and held by the field batteries. I advanced the troops here last night and this morning, in consequence of ascertaining that the enemy, feeling secure on their left from the high water of the Rappahannock, was concentrating his force upon General Jackson.
I have the honor to be, with high respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
Salt Sulphur Springs, W. Va., August 24, 1862.
(Received August 28, 1862.)
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to inform you that by my orders General Jenkins, with 600 cavalry and a mountain howitzer, has moved toward