July 22, 1864


General Wade Hampton,

Commanding, &c.:

General: In reply to your letter of the 20th I will state that I thought it important to have a body of cavalry north of the Virginia Central Railroad, in view of the reported operations of the enemy on the Potomac and the threatening position of Sheridan on the James. I suggested Rosser’s brigade, both on account of its reliability and the opportunity it would enjoy, both of communicating with the Valley, gathering fresh horses, its absentees, &c. I dislike to send off any of the cavalry, especially any from your division, and in the uncertainty of what direction the enemy may direct his next expedition it is difficult to know what arrangements will prove most beneficial. I had proposed sending the brigade to Culpeper, where I understand grass is abundant, and where the horses would derive much benefit. I have heard nothing since I last wrote of movements of the enemy in that direction, and as General Early is now in the lower Valley it may deter any operations against the railroad. You can, therefore, suspend any movements for the present. If you think it better to send a brigade from either of the other divisions I will direct it to be held in readiness.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

R E Lee





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 40, Part 3, pp. 792-793

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 July 28