Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia
June 16, 1863
Lieut. Gen. A. P. Hill, Commanding Corps:
General: I have received your two dispatches of yesterday, and conclude that the enemy has entirely disappeared from you front. General Anderson’s division arrived here this morning. It will be supplied with provisions and forage, and will resume its march to-morrow. Heth, I hope, will reach here to-morrow, and as I have not yet heard of Pender being in motion, I presume he will not reach here until the next day. I wish your corps to follow Longstreet as closely as you can, and, keeping your divisions in supporting distance, your reserve artillery, heavy batteries, and reserve trains might advantageously take the Sperryville road as far as Woodville, and there turn off for Chester Gap to Front Royal, and so down the Valley. Longstreet’s troops have taken the Winchester road as far as Gaines’ Cross-Roads, or some point in that vicinity, where he will turn off to Rocks Ford, across Hedgeman’s River, and thence by Edgeworth and Barbee’s Cross-Roads to Markham. He will then either pursue the route by Paris, or fall down into the Valley by the Manassas Gap road, according to circumstances. This road is said to furnish good grazing and some dry forage, and will tend to deceive the enemy as to our ultimate destination, at least for a time. Should the route not prove a favorable one, Longstreet will send back word to the marching columns, and they will be turned back on the Chester Gap road. Govern yourself accordingly. Your divisions as they come up will be furnished with all the provisions and forage which they can take from this place. This being the last point where we will be in railroad communication with Richmond, I recommend that everything which may be found surplus in the baggage of your troops should be sent back from this place. If not here, I will be found in the advance with General Longstreet. General Ewell reported, under date of the 15th instant, that Early’s division stormed the enemy’s works at Winchester, capturing their cannon, &c., with very little loss on our side, and that everything was pushing on.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee
Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 27, Part 3, p. 896
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 June 16