• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia,

November 26, 1862

Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson,

Commanding Corps:

General: In previous letters I suggested the advantages that might be derived by your taking position at Warrenton or Culpeper, with a view to threaten the rear of the enemy now massed at Fredericksburg. When this movement was first proposed, I thought your route would be by Chester Gap, and its effect upon the enemy would be tested, without imposing additional labor on your corps, leaving you still free to join me, should circumstances render it advisable. As your route has been south of that line, it may now be too late to deviate from your course in time to try the effect upon the enemy, and still enable you to join me before the roads and weather might become so bad as to expose your troops to suffering.

As my previous suggestions to you were left to be executed or not at your discretion, you are still at liberty to follow or reject them; and if you think that no beneficial results can be now attained, as I myself now think probable, I desire you to pursue the best route, by easy marches, to this place, advising me of your approach, that your march may be hastened, if necessary. The enemy is still quiescent in our front, though, for the last day or two, he has been constructing covers for his batteries, and I think the probability is that he will attempt to cross either here or at some other point on the river; in which case it would be desirable that the whole army should be united.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

R E Lee





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, p. 1033

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 4   

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