Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia,

August 3, 1862—8 p. m.


Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill,

Commanding Department of North Carolina:

General: Your letter of 9.30 a. m. has been received. The landing of the force opposite Westover may be to prevent annoyance from our artillery, or it may be, as you suppose, the commencement of the advance on the south side of the river. If the former they can be driven away, and if the latter they can be resisted as well on that side of the river as on this. The news from Norfolk may or may not be true; but we must set to work vigorously to prepare to arrest their progress. I wish you to examine the ground and see how this can best be done. I will send Lieutenant-Colonel Stevens to make an examination of the country, and I wish you to ascertain what force of laborers can be drawn from North Carolina. In regard to harassing the enemy by cutting off his communications, his occupancy of the south side will render it more difficult; but even the attempt seems to have caused him to divide his forces, and I hope that on one side or the other of the river may be demolished. The removal of General Anderson from his present position would stop the construction of the defenses of Drewry’s Bluff, which it will be imprudent to do at this time. The stand for rifleman at City Point which you recommend to be intrenched could surely be accomplished by the troops at Petersburg. General Pendleton can remain for the present if he is needed.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, pp. 660-661

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 November 29