Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia,

August 8, 1862

Brig. Gen.  R. S. Ripley,

Commanding Division:

General: Our experience of the past few days teaches the importance of having Charles City road better cared for. I wish you would station a regiment on it. It will serve to support the cavalry and give it more stability. A section of artillery, if you think fit, had better form part of the force. The best position, perhaps, would be at Riddle’s shops (or near there). But the health and comfort of the troops should be consulted in establishing their camp, and a picket, changed every twenty-four hours, could be established at the most commanding point. The regiment should at least be as far advanced as the waters of White Oak Swamp. If you cannot select the point yourself, send a judicious colonel for the first tour of duty. Let him take tools, &c., and throw up some breastworks, &c., for the protection of the troops at the point where they can make the best defense. Breastworks of logs, abatis, &c., could be used in prolonging the line through the woods. The regiment could be changed weekly if you desire it, to lighten the duty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, pp. 668-669

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 January 22