Taylor’s [Farm], August 18, 1862.
General J. E. B. Stuart, Commanding Cavalry:
General: I hope to be prepared to-day to cross to-morrow. I wish to know where you will be and where your troops (Lee’s brigade) are. The order placing them in your command of the cavalry accompanies this. When you move, for which you must wait for orders, I think it will be necessary to leave the cavalry pickets of General Robertson’s brigade in their usual position under a vigilant officer and draw the rest to you. This could be done the evening previous, and must be looked to to-day. Colonel Jones may be the best officer to leave in charge of pickets, with orders to be vigilant and to make strict resistance against any attempt upon his position. Let me hear from you as soon as you know the time at which you will be prepared. You must have your rations prepared. Hard bread will be issued for the march, but must not be used previously. The supply is very limited.
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.12, Part 3, p. 934
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 18