from interfering with you. I had intended to undertake an expedition between the middle and end of April to destroy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and for other purposes. I cannot, however, start it so soon as you say you can. I will very gladly contribute all in my power to your success.
My department is designated by the War Department as the "Trans Alleghany, or Department of Western Virginia, and embraces the northwest as well as the southwest. If your command is designed to act in Western Virginia, it should report to me, and be subject to my orders. Otherwise, as you see in this case, it will be difficult to co-operate in a way to secure all the results that might be obtained from the judicious and proper employment of our troops.
My engineer officer is ready to join you with his small party when you need him.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
March 19, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: On my arrival yesterday, learning that the enemy's cavalry had retired across the Rappahannock, and that no effort was being made by their infantry to cross the river, I countermanded the orders for Pickett's and Hood's divisions to march in this direction, and returned to Richmond the two battalions of heavy artillery, armed as infantry, that I had brought up to Hanover Junction to guard our stores, railroad bridges, &c.
General Stoneman's attempt seems to have proved fruitless to him. His whole force was driven back by Fitz. Lee's small brigade. If he could restore to us our gallant dead, I should be content. I mourn the loss of Major Pelham. I had hoped that a long career of usefulness and honor was still before him. He has been stricken down in the midst of both, and before he could receive the promotion he had richly won. I hope there will be no impropriety in presenting his name to the Senate, that his comrades may see that his services have been appreciated, and may be incited to emulate them.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
March 19, 1863.
Major General ARNOLD ELZEY, Commanding, Richmond:
GENERAL: On my arrival here yesterday, I learned that the cavalry of the enemy, which had crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, had subsequently retired. I therefore telegraphed orders to the Richmond Battalion to return to you. I was much gratified with the appearance of these battalions, and the promptness with which they moved sufficiently indicate their state of efficiency.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,