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Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

July 27, 1862


General Thomas J. Jackson,

Commanding Valley District:

General: I have received your dispatch of 26th instant. I will send A. P. Hill’s division and the Second Brigade of Louisiana Volunteers to you. Stafford’s regiment (Ninth Louisiana) need not, therefore, be sent here, as directed in Special Orders, No. 163. These troops will exceed 18,000 men. Your command ought certainly to number that amount. What has become of them? I heard they were coming to you from the valley. Do not let your troops run down if it can possibly be avoided by attention to their wants, comforts, &c., by their respective commanders. This will require your personal attention; also consideration and preparation in your movements. I want Pope to be suppressed. The course indicated in his orders, if the newspapers report them correctly, cannot be permitted and will lead to retaliation on our part. You had better notify him the first opportunity. The order of Steinwehr must be disavowed, or you must hold the first captains from his army for retaliation. They will not be exchanged. A. P. Hill you will, I think, find a good officer, with whom you can consult, and by advising with your division commanders as to your movements much trouble will be saved you in arranging details, as they can act more intelligently. I wish to save you trouble from my increasing your command. Cache your troops as much as possible till you can strike your blow, and be prepared to return to me when done, if necessary. I will endeavor to keep General McClellan quiet till it is over, if rapidly executed.

Very respectfully and truly,

R. E. Lee




Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 12, Part 3, pp. 918-919


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 July 15