War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0927 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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back as the South Anna at least, particularly while the roads are so very bad, then concentrate on the grand army and try and dispose of that. We have been ready to fight for the last three months, and have only failed to do so because we could not reach his force on the Rappahannock, and because it was not convenient to touch him elsewhere. If we delay until he is again ready to give battle we give him all that he can desire, besides we fail to avail ourselves of the opportunity to produce a favorable political impression at the North, or rather we fail to reap the rewards of that impression already produced. If we cripple him only, a little at one place and then another, we may mutually produce grand results. I hope that I have gone into details sufficiently to give you my views, but I am always ready to do and to say all that I can.

I remain, general, most respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

General Hood is ordered back to his old camp.


Richmond, Va., March 19, 1863.

Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET,

Commanding, & c., Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to say to you that in accordance with the telegram received from General Lee you are directed to recall the divisions of Generals Hood and Pickett and to retain them in their former positions or such others as you may select. In your absence, and for the sake of expedition, similar orders were issued directly to Generals Hood and Pickett yesterday.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.


March 19, 1863.

Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET,

Commanding, & c.:

GENERAL: On my arrival here yesterday I learned that the cavalry force of the enemy which crossed at Kelly's Ford had subsequently retired, and that the reported attempt to force a passage at the United States Ford had not been made. I therefore sent a telegram to General Cooper, requesting that the divisions ordered up here might be stopped and returned to their former positions. I need not remind you that it will be necessary to maintain great vigilance in your front as well as here, and to hold the troops at both points ready to co-operate whenever it is correctly ascertained where the attack of the enemy will fall. I hope you will be able to act on the suggestions contained in my letter from Richmond relative to obtaining all the supplies possible of forage and subsistence from North Carolina and turn all the energies of your department in that direction.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,