I think it probable a copy may have reached you. His recommendations to the Democracy of the North, so far as we are concerned, I think cannot be objected to, and, if adopted, will inure to our benefit. He refers to the irritation produced among that party by the language of some of our Southern papers, which I thought at the time would be the natural consequence. It was to prevent, if possible, a similar occurrence in the present development of feeling at the North that I wrote you the other day.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 16, 1863.
Major C. R. COLLINS,
I learn that the enemy have withdrawn their pickets on the upper branch of the Rappahannock, as high up as Beverly Ford. I presume they have also withdrawn them from the Lower Rappahannock, and that none of the enemy now remain between that river and the Potomac. Should that be the case, you need not keep up your picket line on the river, but establish your command for the present near Fredericksburg, where you can get supplies and send scouts across into Stafford, to keep yourself informed of what is going on at Aquia and above.
You must also repress, as far as possible, any marauding expedition that may be made up the Rappahannock and in the counties north of that river. For this purpose a light battery would be useful, and I desire you to apply to General Elzey to know whether one can be furnished you from Richmond.
You will report to General Elzey all information of importance touching the movements of the enemy affecting the safety of the country south of the Rappahannock.
Colonel [W. W.] Rich, on your left, will be withdrawn, to join his brigade.
You must make your requisitions for supplies upon Richmond, and I hope you will do everything, in your power to keep your men and horses in good condition, and be ready to join me whenever I think you can be withdrawn from your present position.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
BOTTOM`S BRIDGE, June 16, 1863.
Captain GEORGE D. WISE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
CAPTAIN: I have ordered Captain Capps` company to the White House, to guard the bridge there. Major [John R.] Robertson with his command is at Long and Forge Bridges, and the remainder of my command is with me at Bottom`s Bridge. I have directed the officers at these several posts to hold them as long as possible, and to offer the most determined resistance to the advance of the enemy.
I have sent a scout into King and Queen, to proceed down the Mat-
57 R R-VOL XXVII, PT III