• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Frederick Md: 9th Sept ‘62

Genl Orders


The army will resume its march tomorrow, taking the Hagerstown road. Genl Jacksons command will form the advance, & after passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, will take the route towards Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most Convenient point, & by friday night take possession of the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. capture such of the enemy as may be at Martinsburg, & intercept such as may attempt to escape from Harpersferry.

Genl Longstreets Command will pursue the Same road as far as Boonsboro’ where it will halt with the reserve, supply & baggage trains of the army.

Genl McLaws with his own division & that of Genl R. R. [sic] Anderson will follow Genl Longstreet: on reaching Middletown he will take the route to Harpers ferry; & by friday morg, possess himself of Maryland heights, & endeavour to Capture the enemy at Harpers Ferry & its vicinity.

Genl Walker, with his division, after accomplishing the object in which he is now engaged; will cross the Potomac at Cheeks ford, ascend its right bank to Lovettsville, take possession of Louodon heights, if practicable, by friday morg, Keysford on his left, & the road between the N. end of the Mt: & the Potomac on his right. He will as far as possible cooperate with Genl McLaws & Genl Jackson, in intercepting the retreat of the enemy.

Genl D. H. Hills division will form the rear guard of the army, pursuing the road taken by the mainbody. The reserve arty, ordnance & Supply trains &c will precede Genl Hill.

Genl Stuart will detach a squadron of Cavy to accompy the commands of Genls Longstreet, Jackson & McLaws; & with the main body of the Cavy; will cover the route of the army, & bring up all stragglers that may have been left behind.

The Commands of Genls Jackson, McLaws & Walker, after accomplishing the objects for which they have been attached, will join the mainbody of the Army at Boonsboro or Hagerstown




Source: Checked against original document, Mary Custis Lee Papers, Mss1 L5144 a 1068-1075, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 September 10



1. R. H. Anderson. The fact that Lee made a error here suggests he wrote this copy of the orders after the war and simply got the general’s name wrong. This draft was found in a folder of miscellaneous papers (some very fragemented) kept in the Mary Custis Lee Papers. Lee might have made this copy to aid him in the writing his history of the Army of Northern Virginia, a work he never completed.

2. This manuscript comprises section III-IX of Lee’s General Orders No. 191. At the time of the original orders, Lee had damaged both of his hands badly in a fall from his horse on August 31. He was not able to write by himself for some time. This draft must have been copied by Lee later. It is unclear why he did not copy all of the official order. 

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