Camp Culpeper, November 19, 1862

His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President of the Confederate States:


Mr. President: General Stuart wrote to me from Warrenton, 6.30 p.m. yesterday, that the last of the enemy’s infantry and artillery passed through that place at 2 p. m.; their cavalry at 3 p. m., in the direction of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Sumner’s corps, on Sunday, marched from Catlett’s Station for Fredericksburg; but it is not certain yet that any other force has moved upon that place. General Stuart will this morning move down upon the railroad, and communicate with me. The enemy last night burned the railroad bridge at Rappahannock Station, which I had left standing. I think he has abandoned his advance in this direction and west of it. My scouts report no transports at Washington and Alexandria, and no boats but some gunboats and tugs. They must expect, then, I think, to force their way from Fredericksburg. Two divisions of Longstreet’s corps moved yesterday and two follow today. I shall wait to hear again from Stuart, and then proceed as circumstances appear to dictate. My letters to the Department will give details.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

R E Lee



P.S. I send some late Northern papers.




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, pp. 1020-1021

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 18