• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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,

Near Fredericksburg, Va., November 25, 1862


Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson,

Commanding Corps:

General: From your letter of the 21st, which, with its inclosures, I received last night, I infer that your command is in motion up the valley. I wrote to you on the 23d instant, suggesting that you should cross the Blue Ridge, and stated my reasons for believing that, by taking position at Culpeper, &c., it would be advantageous. I do not now see any reason for hastening your march, if it has been commenced; but I wish you would advise me of your line of approach from point to point, that I may notify you, should any necessity exist.

I will send this to Madison, in hopes that it will meet you there, as I infer that you will cross the mountains at Millan’s Gap.

Should you think it advisable to halt at Culpeper, or to make any demonstration on the enemy’s rear, I request you to do so. In the mean time, should any movement of the enemy make it desirable that you should join me at once, I will advise you.

General Burnside has thrown back from view the force he so ostentatiously displayed on his first arrival, but I believe his object has been to secure his camps and facilitate his attainment of supplies. Only a small force is now visible from this side, and I anticipate no forward movement until the wharves on the Potomac are constructed and the railroad to the Rappahannock repaired. As far as I can judge, his plan is to advance on Richmond from this base; and, to delay him as long as practicable and throw him into the winter, I have determined to resist him from the beginning. Your corps may, therefore, be needed here; and if, from the circumstances which surround you, you see that no good can be obtained from a flank movement on Culpeper or Warrenton, you can march directly to this point.

I am respectfully, &c.,

R E Lee





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

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 3 

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