Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
Hagerstown, Md., September 15, 1862
Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith,
Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:
General: Your letter of the 4th instant has just been received. I am glad to learn that you have organized a force for the Rappahannock, which I hope will be sufficient for present purposes; but I beg you will spare no effort to increase it, and, if it acquires sufficient strength, that you will advance it beyond the Rappahannock, to cover that country from the raids of the enemy’s cavalry as far as possible. The wounded at Warrenton must be brought back to a place of greater security whenever opportunity affords, and as soon as they can bear the transportation. They were only sent there temporarily.
I am glad you have given directions for the gathering up and forwarding to their regiments of the stragglers through the country, and hope you will speedily obtain enough labor to complete the works around Richmond.
I am, general, 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. 19, Part 2, p. 609
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 12