Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia,

Near Fredericksburg, Va., November 25, 1862

 

Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson,

Commanding Corps:

General: From your letter of the 21st, which, with its inclosures, I received last night, I infer that your command is in motion up the valley. I wrote to you on the 23d instant, suggesting that you should cross the Blue Ridge, and stated my reasons for believing that, by taking position at Culpeper, &c., it would be advantageous. I do not now see any reason for hastening your march, if it has been commenced; but I wish you would advise me of your line of approach from point to point, that I may notify you, should any necessity exist.

I will send this to Madison, in hopes that it will meet you there, as I infer that you will cross the mountains at Millan’s Gap.

Should you think it advisable to halt at Culpeper, or to make any demonstration on the enemy’s rear, I request you to do so. In the mean time, should any movement of the enemy make it desirable that you should join me at once, I will advise you.

General Burnside has thrown back from view the force he so ostentatiously displayed on his first arrival, but I believe his object has been to secure his camps and facilitate his attainment of supplies. Only a small force is now visible from this side, and I anticipate no forward movement until the wharves on the Potomac are constructed and the railroad to the Rappahannock repaired. As far as I can judge, his plan is to advance on Richmond from this base; and, to delay him as long as practicable and throw him into the winter, I have determined to resist him from the beginning. Your corps may, therefore, be needed here; and if, from the circumstances which surround you, you see that no good can be obtained from a flank movement on Culpeper or Warrenton, you can march directly to this point.

I am respectfully, &c.,

R E Lee

General

 

 

 

Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 3