Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/537
Secret History of Gettysburg. 525
tion, and taking all things into consideration, he cannot perceive how it can by any possibility be carried into effect.
You will doubtless learn, before this reaches you, that the enemy has again assembled in force on the peninsula, estimated between 20,000 to 30,000 men, from 6,000 to 10,000 of whom are reported to be in the vicinity of the White House, the remainder at Yorktown. It is impos- sible to say whether this estimated number is correct, as the several accounts vary, and are not deemed altogether reliable. But the esti- mate, making due allowances for errors, is quite near enough to satisfy even the most incredulous that the enemy is in the vicinity in sufficient force in cavalry, artillery and infantry, to do much harm, whether his purpose be to make a demonstration on Richmond, or to confine him- self to raids in breaking up your communication and devastating the country. His efforts in the last case may prove more successful than the first, if we may judge by what took place at Hanover only two days ago, where about 1000 or 1200 of his cavalry suddenly ap- peared there, and did some execution in breaking the railroad to some extent, and in burning a bridge, some buildings, public stores, etc. It is unfortunate that this raid took place only about two days after Gen- eral Corse's brigade had left there for Gordonsville. Had it remained at Hanover Junction, it is reasonable to suppose that most of the enemy's cavalry would have been either destroyed or captured, and the property saved from injury.
Every effort is being made here to be prepared for the enemy at all points, but we must look chiefly to the protection of the capital ; in doing this we may be obliged to hazard something at other points. You can easily estimate our strength here, and I would suggest for your consideration, whether in this state of things you might not be able to spare a portion of your force to protect your line of communi- cation against attempted raids by the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
The following is the letter from General Lee which brought forth the above response from President Davis, through General Cooper :
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 23d, 1863.
General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va. :
General Upon leaving Fredericksburg a regiment of General Petti- grew's brigade was sent to relieve General Corse's brigade at Hanover Junction, to enable the latter to rejoin his division.
General Corse was subsequently ordered to remain at the Junction, and I have not heard whether he has yet been sent forward or not. If not, I think the regiment will suffice for a guard at that point, and wish Corse's brigade to be ordered to rejoin its division, under General Pickett, as soon as possible.
He will march by Culpeper Court-house, and thence through