Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia

May 3, 1863—7 p.m.

Major-General McLaws,

Commanding, &c.:

General: I presume, from the firing which I hear in your direction, that you are engaged with the enemy.

Upon the receipt of your note, I sent Colonel Alexander, with his battalion of artillery, to report to you. I hope he reached you in time. I have just written to Early, who informs me that he is on the Telegraph road, near Mrs. Smith’s house, to unite with you to attack the enemy on their left flank. Communicate with him, and arrange the junction, if necessary and practicable. It is necessary that you beat the enemy, and I hope you will do it.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Vol. 25, Part 2, p. 770

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 May 3