Headquarters, Two Miles from Fredericktown, Md.,
September 7, 1862 (Received September 10, 1862)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that Lieutenant-Colonel Funk reports that he took possession of Winchester at 11 o’clock on the morning of the 3d instant, the enemy having abandoned the town on the night of the 2d. They blew up their large magazine, burnt an enormous amount of quartermaster’s and commissary stores, and about two squares of the city. Still, a quantity of stores, a large amount of ammunition, some fine guns, medical stores, tents, cooking utensils, &c., were left behind, which have been taken possession of by Colonel Funk. I have directed that he make reports of the captured articles to the proper departments, and I desire that they be secured. As I have directed that Winchester be made a depot for this army, and have sent there our disabled men, horses, batteries, and surplus wagon-trains, in order that they may be recruited and refreshed, I particularly want a good commander for that post, one of energy and experience, who will bring everything into order, give confidence to the community, and take advantage of the resources of the country. It has occurred to me that one of the gallant wounded generals, too enfeebled to take the field, might do valuable service in that position, and I would recommend that General Edward Johnson, if capable of performing the duty, be assigned to the post. His services have earned him promotion, which I earnestly recommend, and hope that circumstances may authorize it.
I inclose you a report of General Julius White’s command, lately in Winchester, whose troops retired in the direction of Harper’s Ferry and Martinsburg, and, as I learn from rumor, have retreated to Pennsylvania.
I wish shops opened at Winchester for the repair of our batteries, trains, &c., and request that the Ordnance and Quartermaster’s Departments may give the necessary directions for the purpose.
I beg that you will endeavor now to gather in our conscripts to fill the reduced ranks of the Virginia regiments. Those in the Valley should be particularly attended to.
I am, with great respect, 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 1, pp. 139-140
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 13