HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 13, 1962-10 p. m.
General LAFAYETTE MCLAWS,
GENERAL: General Lee directs me to say that, from report reaching him, he believes the enemy is moving toward Harper's Ferry to relieve the force they have there. You will see, therefore, the necessity of expediting your operations as much as possible. As soon as they are completed, he desires, you, unless you receive orders from General Jackson, to move your force as rapidly as possible to Sharpsburg. General Longstreet will move down to-morrow and take a position on Beaver Creek, this side of Boonsborough. General Stuart has been requested to keep you informed of the movements of the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. M. R. TALCOTT,
Major and Aide-de-Camp.
NEAR HARPER'S FERRY,
September 14, 1862-7.20 a. m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of yesterday has been received. The Loudoun Heights are in possession of Walker. I desire you to move forward until you get complete possession of the maryland Heights. I am gratified to learn that you have the main heights. The enemy yesterday had a battery on your side of the Potomac, above the Ferry a short distance. I have sent officers on to the Loudoun Heights for the purpose of establishing batteries there to sweep the ground occupied by the enemy's camps, and to the east, &c. I hope that you will establish batteries wherever you can to advantage, for the purpose of firing upon the enemy's camps, and at such other points as you may be able to damage him. There is a fortification extending from Barbour's house, in the direction of the Potomac. You may be able to take this work in reverse. So soon as you get your batteries all planted, let me know, as I desire, after yourself, Walker, and myself have our batteries ready to open, to send in a flag of truce, for the purpose of getting out the non-combatants, should the commanding officer refuse to surrender. Should we have to attack, let the work be done thoroughly; fire on the houses when necessary. The citizens can keep out of harm's way from your artillery. Demolish the place if it is occupied by the enemy, and does not surrender. I hope that Walker will be able to get a plunging fire into a work which is immediately in my front, on the turnpike, and also on a battery which is upon an island of the Shenandoah, about a mile above the mouth of the river. The position in front of me is a strong one, and I desire to remain quiet, and let you and Walker draw attention from Furnace Hill, so that I may have an opportunity of getting possession of the hill without much loss.
T. J. JACKSON,
P. S.- My signal station is on the first hill south of Halltown. Impress guides. You can explain positions, &c. I have given directions to communicate with your signal party.