strength and stability they ought to be advanced, at least, as far as the Rappahannock and operate more boldly in the enemy's front. They are now more than a day's march from the enemy's pickets, and I fear do not behave creditably, as they are reported to retire whenever the enemy's cavalry advances. Whatever may be General McClellan's ultimate intentions, I see no evidence as yet of any advance upon Richmond; and, notwithstanding the assertions in the Northern papers, I think this army is not yet sufficiently recuperated from its campaign in Maryland to make a vigorous forward move. There are no sings now of his advancing up this valley, nor can I discover anything of his intention to cross the Potomac east of the Blue Ridge.
While this army holds its position, we are consuming provisions that would otherwise fall into the hands of the enemy. Cattle are also being collected in Hampshire and Hardy Counties, and I hope that some recruits and horses will be obtained from those counties. If the enemy can be detained in our front for some weeks, it will give them but little time before winter to operate south of the Potomac.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE NORTHERN VIRGINIA, October 13, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Information received since my letter to you of the 11th instant confirms the belief I then expressed that the army of General McClellan is still in the vicinity of Sharpsburg and Herper's Ferry. From a scout just returned from Maryland, I learn that Sumner's and Williams' (formerly Banks') corps are at Harper's Ferry, Geary on Loudoun Heights, Burnside at Sandy Hook, Hooker, Porter, Reynolds, and Franklin between the Antietam and Hagerstown. Cox has been made a major-general, and it is said has been ordered to Western Virginia, and the four brigades I formerly mentioned I believe are ordered to the same point. The cavalry expedition of the enemy, which in my former letter I reported was moving toward the Rappahannock, has returned without accomplishing much, and I presume that movement was the basis of the report that a large was moving toward Richmond. You will se by the accompanying orders* to General Stuart that an expedition has been sent into Pennsylvania. The slip from the Baltimore American of the 11th [instant], which I inclose, comprises all the information I have received it crossed the border.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Highly important - A rebel cavalry raid into Pennsylvania - Mercersburg and Chambersburg occupied.
HARRISBURG, October 10, 7.30 p.m.- Governor Curtin has just received the following dispatch from Colonel McClure, and Chambersburg:
Mercersburg was occupied by Stuart's rebel cavalry to-day, and they are now advancing on Chambersburg. They took horses and all other property they wanted at