Headquarters Department of Northern Virginia,

Culpeper Court-House, November 15, 1862—7 p.m.

Brig. Gen. W. H. F. Lee,

Commanding Cavalry:


General: I request you to order the Sixty-first Virginia Volunteers, Colonel Groner commanding, and the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues, Captain Grandy commanding, to proceed at once to Fredericksburg. They will take the route by Stevensburg, crossing the Rapidan at Raccoon Ford, till they intersect the Plank road from Orange Court-House to Fredericksburg. Should they learn that Fredericksburg is unoccupied by the enemy, they will pursue the Plank road to that city; but should they learn of its occupation, they will fall back through Spottsylvania Court-House, and take position on the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad, where it crosses the North Anna. After crossing the Rapidan, Colonel Groner must send forward his staff officers to ascertain the best roads, prepare forage for his command, &c., at points where it will be needed. He will be careful on the march to permit no straggling, depredation upon the citizens, country, &c., and be careful to pay for all articles consumed by his command, or to give proper receipts for the same.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, &c.,

R E Lee



Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, p. 1013

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 11