deemed unsafe to send back for them, and they were thus lost . No arms, cannon, or prisoners were taken by the enemy in battle, but only such as were left behind under the circumstances I have described The number of stragglers thus lost I am unable to state with accuracy . but it is exaggerated in the dispatch referred to. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
General S. COOPER, Adjt. and Insp. General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va. -
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Culpeper, Court-House, July 24, 1863.
Mr. PRESIDENT: After the army recrossed the Potomac from Maryland, I had determined to move it into Loudoun, but the rains that had swelled the Potomac placed the Shenandoah 6 feet above fording stage, and before arrangements could be made to use the pontoon bridge, so thoughtfully forwarded by you, the enemy crossed into Loudoun County, and occupied the passes of the Blue Ridge, through which I had intended to advance . The difficulty of ascertaining his plans the delay that would have been occasioned by forcing a passage in his front, and the ease with which he could thrown himself upon Richmond, induced me to move up to Chester Gap and take position at this place . General Longstreet's corps reached were to-day, General A. P. Hill's expected to arrive within 10 miles, and General Ewell's corps, which was to pass through Thornton's Gap, will probably be here day after to-morrow . My intention is, if practicable, to give the army a few days' rest, and refresh our weary animals, which, having been obliged to subsist chiefly on grass, are much reduced . I desire also to draw to me, as rapidly as possible, all the convalescents and absentees, and to strengthen our ranks . We are in great need of horseshoes, having been able to procure none on our expedition, and our constant motion preventing their manufacture from iron that fell into our possession, more than half the cavalry is dismounted, and the artillery horses and wagon teams have suffered equally. I learn that the enemy is massing a large army between Centreville and Manassas Junction . A portion of General Meade's army crossed the Potomac as low down as the Chain Bridge, and I understand, embraces the commands of Generals Dix and Foster . General Corcoran advanced of the road from Alexandria . Since crossing the mountain, I haver learned that the Manassa Gap Railroad is in operation as high as Salem, and I hear that they are carrying up timber, with the view, probably it beyond. It would seem to have the intention of the enemy to penetrate the Shenandoah Valley above Winchester, for, in addition to these preparations, I am informed that last evening he advanced three corps into Manassas Gap. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
His Excellency President DAVIS,