with the people themselves rests the power to put an end to this invasion of their homes, for, if unable to prevail on the Government of the United States to conclude a general peace, their own State government in the exercise of its sovereignty, can secure immunity from the desolating effects of warfare on the soil of the State by a separate treaty of peace, which this Government will ever be ready to conclude on the most just and liberal basis.
8th. That the responsibility thus rests on the people of --- of continuing an unjust and oppressive warfare upon the Confederate States--a warfare which can never end in any other manner than that now proposed. With them is the option of preserving the blessings of peace by the simple abandonment of the design of subjugating a people over whom no right of dominion has ever been conferred, either by God or man.
Two Miles from Fredericktown, Md., September 7, 1862
General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 1st instant, reporting the condition of affairs at Suffolk, New Kent, Fredericksburg, &c. I do not think the enemy will be able to maintain a large force south of James River, and unless prevented by the enemy's gunboats you will be able to retake Norfolk. I feel convinced that their land force at that point will be small. I have thought of suggesting to you the advantages of strengthening and reoccupying old Fort Powhatan, as opportunity may offer. It will extend your command of James River, and stop the ascent of the enemy's boats and depredation upon the river banks, &c. It could be held by the Navy, and as soon as the Richmond is completed will enable her to clear out the river. Every effort should now be made to complete the Richmond immediately, and heavy guns could now be prepared for Powhatan at the Tredegar Works. We must leave no stone interned to expel the enemy from our borders. I have seen official accounts of the complete evacuation of Fredericksburg, and official reports from the valley state that Winchester was abandoned on the night of September 2. General White, commanding at that place is stated to have retired into Pennsylvania. I think the enemy will concentrate about Washington. I hope you will make every effort to collect available troops on the James River and Rappahannock, so as to protect Richmond and cover the country. You must expect to be annoyed by the fleet of the enemy.
I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
CAMP NEAR GENERAL HILL'S HEADQUARTERS,
Montgomery's House, September 8, 1862.
Chief of Artillery:
GENERAL: I send you a note from Colonel Chilton, assistant adjutant-general, directing the guns now with me to remain here with General Hill. This was done at the request of General Hill, as we have here a fine position for them.