Orchard and Greenbrier. He does not know the truth of these charges, but directs that you will take such steps as will prevent a repetition of them.
Very respectfully, &c.,
CHAS. S. STRINGFELLOW,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHER VIRGINIA,
October 26, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22nd instant.
Our pickets are now below the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and the enemy is altogether west of it, so far as I can learn.
I can arrange to give notice to the working parties engaged in removing the iron from the Aquia Creek road, but have no doubt that as soon as the enemy learn that it is being doen they will send a larger force to prevent it than I can spare to meet the. Under these circumstances, timely notice of the approach of the enemy will serve as good a purpose as the small force I could now spare to protect the work. I think it should be undertaken at once, and with energy and secrecy. By taking a few railroad trucks across the river and beginning the work at the remote end of the line, the rails might be transported to the river opposite Fredericksburg, without risking our wagons. If a pontoon bridge could be thrown across the river to remove the iron as fast as it is brought down, it would greatly facilitate the work.
I desire to be notified as soon as the operations begin, in order that I may put our pickets and scouts on the watch, to notify those engaged of any danger that may threaten.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
October 31, 1863.
Contents carefully noted and attended to.
Respectfully returned to the honorable Secretary of War.
ALFRED L. RIVES,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Acting Chief of Bureau.
HDQRS. CAV. CORPS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 26, 1863.
Colonel O. R. FUNSTEN,
Eleventh Virginia Cavalry:
COLONEL: In relieving you from command of the brigade to which Brigadier-General Rosser has been assigned, I feel it but just that I should give expression to my high appreciation of your good conduct, and the highly satisfactory manner in which you discharged