great victories around Richmond, you have defeated the enemy at Cedar Mountain, expelled him from the Rappahannock, and, after a conflict of three days, utterly repulsed him on the plains of Manassas, and forced him to take shelter within the fortifications around his capital. Without halting for repose, you crossed the Potomac, stormed the heights of Harper's Ferry, made prisoners of more than 11,000 men, and captured upward of seventy-five pieces of artillery, all their small-arms, and other munitions of war. While one corps of the army was thus engaged, the other insured its success by arresting at Boonsborough the combined armies of the enemy, advancing under their favorite general to the relief of their beleaguered comrades. On the field of Sharpsburg, with less than one third his numbers, you resisted from daylight until dark the whole army of the enemy, and repulsed every attack along his entire front of more than 4 miles in extent. The whole of the following day you stood prepared to resume the conflict on the same ground, and retired next morning without molestation across the Potomac. Two attempts subsequently made by the enemy to follow you across the river have resulted in his complete discomfiture and being driven back with loss. History records few examples of greater fortitude and endurance than this army has exhibited, and I am commissioned by the President to thank you in the name of the Confederate State for the undying fame you have won for their arms. Much as you have done, much more remains to be accomplished. The enemy again threatens with invasion, and to your tried valor and patriotism the country looks with confidence for deliverance and safety. Your past exploits give assurance that this confidence is not misplaced.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Camp near Winchester, Va., October 4, 1862.
(Received October 7, 1862.)
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Mrs. phil. Kearny has applied for the sword and horse of Major General Phil. Kearny, which was captured at the time that officer was killed, near Chantilly. The horse and sword to the Chief of Ordnance. I would send them at once, as an evidence of the sympathy felt for her bereavement, and as a testimony of the appreciation of a gallant soldier, but I have looked upon such articles as public property, and that I had no right to dispose of them, except for the benefit of the service. In this case, however, I should like to depart from this rule, provided it is not considered improper by the Department, and I therefore refer the matter for your decision. An early reply is requested.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
OCTOBER 8, 1862.
The return of the horse and sword is authorized.
G. W. RANDOLPH.