the same brigade. The promotion of Colonel Perry for the command of the three Florida regiments breaks up General Pryor's brigade. I thought it possible that the latter might be assigned to duty south of James River, a country with which he is acquainted, and where he would probably like to serve.
From advices received from Generals Jackson and Stuart, the enemy are advancing steadily from the Potomac, their right moving along the base of the Blue Ridge, and their left resting on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. They occupy the gaps in the mountains as they progress, and have already reached Manassas Gap, which at least accounts yesterday was held by your pickets. They have not yet taken possession of Warrenton, which is still held by Colonel [W. H.] Payne [Fourth Virginia Cavalry]. General Jackson's corps is in the valley, his advance being at Front Royal. I do not think they will advance very far while he is in position to threaten their flank. Should they, however, continue their forward movement, General Jackson is directed to ascend the valley, and should they cross the Rappahannock, General Longstreet's corps will retire through Madison, where forage can be obtained, and the two corps unite through Swift Run Gap. No opposition has yet been offered to their advance, except the resistance of our cavalry and pickets. I have not yet been able to ascertain the strength of the enemy, but presume it is the whole of McClellan's army, as I learn that his whole force from Harper's Ferry, to Hagerstown has been withdrawn from Maryland, leaving only pickets at the fords, and but few troops at Harper's Ferry. He is also moving more rapidly than usual, and it looks like a real advance. I am, therefore, inclined to think that the operations south of James River for the present are intended to divert and distract us, and I would not have detached Evans' brigade as yet but for the urgent call of the Department, as it is possible that the whole force of this army may yet be needed in this section. I request that every exertion may be made to
re-enforce our troops south of James River by the regiments of North Carolina, so as to keep the enemy at bay in that quartermaster as long as possible.
The troops here are supplies with flour from the mills in this region, without as yet, trenching upon the grain collected by the commissary department to transport to Richmond, and some meat on the hoof has also been purchased.
I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
November 6, 1862.
I. Colonel S. D. Lee, commanding artillery battalion, will immediately repair to Richmond, Va., and report to the Adjutant and Inspector General, S. C. Army. Brigadier General W. N. Pendleton, chief of artillery, will assign an officer to relieve Colonel S. D. Lee.
II. Brigadier General N. G. Evans will proceed with his brigade to Weldon, N. C., reporting, when passing through Richmond, to Major General G. W.
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VIII. The following promotions, having been made by the President, are announced accordingly, and officers assigned to duty as follows:
Major General James, Longstreet to be lieutenant-general, and to command First Army Corps.