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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp at Orange Court-House

October 3, 1863

His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President Confederate States, Richmond, Va.:

Mr. President: A dispatch from Major Gilmore, in the valley, last night states that the re-enforcements for Rosecrans have all passed over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The force, composed of Slocum's and Howard's corps, under General Hooker, was estimated at between 20,000 and 25,000 men. He states he made several attempts to break the railroad, but could accomplish nothing. I do not expect that Imboden has been more successful in his efforts farther west. Unless more than two corps have been forwarded to General Rosecrans' army, the estimate of their strength is, in my opinion, too great, and they will probably not exceed 12,000. They are considered two of the smallest and most indifferent corps.

A small detachment of General R. D. Johnston's North Carolina brigade crossed the Rapidan on the night of the 1st and attacked a cavalry picket of the enemy. Lieut. P. Durham, commanding the detachment, returned with 1 prisoner, 8 horses, 9 saddles and bridles, 4 sabers, and 4 pistols. He left 1 of the enemy killed, 1 wounded, and 2 horses killed.

The army has not been paid for some months, and it is reported that the company officers find difficulty in subsisting themselves. All the estimates, excepting for the cavalry, forwarded some weeks since. If it is possible, I should like to have the men paid regularly.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant.

R E Lee,




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 29, Part 2, p. 769

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 April 13

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