War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 1027 Chapter XXXIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

pressed by superior numbers, or to join me, as circumstances may require.

Should your line of march by Chester Gap be cut off, you can proceed west of the Massanutten Mountain, and go by Thornton's or Swift Run Gap.

I will march with A. P. Hill's corps. Please send me any information of the enemy's movements which you may deem important.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

July 20, 1863 - 7, 30 p. m.

Major General J. E. B. STUART,

Commanding Cavalry:

GENERAL: Since my letter to you this afternoon, I have received a note from General Ewell, stating that the enemy, with a force said to be 10, 000, was lying quietly near Tabb's Mills, near which General Ed. Johnson is encamped, who has been breaking up the railroad west of Martinsburg. General Ewell has organized an attack upon them to-morrow. I do not think the enemy's force is as large as represented by the citizen who passed through their lines and reported their position, but this position is so singular that it is either based upon entire ignorance of General Ewell's propinquity, or upon expectation of joint attack from the direction of Harper's Ferry. I wish you would, therefore, be on the alert to prevent any approach from that quarter, and desire you to go forward yourself at daylight in the morning, so as, if necessary, to co-operate with your cavalry with General Ewell. I forgot, in my former letter, to request you to communicate with General Ewell while you remain in the Valley, and give him all the information of the enemy which it may be advantageous for him to know.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

UNION, MONROE COUNTY, VA.,

July 20, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, &c.:

SIR: In the communication which I had the honor of making to you on the 16th instant, in reply to your kind letter of the 10th instant, in regard to my taking temporary command of this military department during the absence therefrom of Major-General Jones, which you stated had been ordered, I omitted to state that which it was my duty, probably, to have done and which I beg to state now.

I am satisfied from my acquaintance with the department, which is, I think, full and accurate, and from my knowledge of the strength and position of the enemy in front of us, that this section, with the great interests of the railroad and salt-works, cannot be protected and defended if any portion of the troops now here shall be removed.

I hope that I may be pardoned for saying this much, but I could