Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 17, 1863 (Wednesday): Longstreet Turns West

Markham, Virginia (

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Markham, June 17, 1863-3. 30 p. m.
Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET,
Commanding Corps:

    GENERAL: Your note of 10 a. m. to-day just received. I have heard nothing of the movements of General Hooker either from General Stuart or yourself, and, therefore, can form no opinion of the best move against him. If a part of our force could have operated east of the mountains, it would have served more to confuse him, but as you have turned off to the Valley, and I understand all the trains have taken that route, I hope it is for the best. At any rate, it is too late to change from any information I have. You had better, therefore, push on, relieve Ewell`s division as soon as you can, and let him advance into Maryland, at least as far as Hagerstown. Give out it is against Harper`s Ferry. I will send back for A. P. Hill to move by Chester Gap. I wrote to you to-day and yesterday. I shall go from here to the Valley.
     Very respectfully, 

     R. E. LEE,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 27, Part 3, Page 900.

This memo to Longstreet suggests Lee at least initially desired Stuart to stay to the east of the mountains.  In fact, it appears Longstreet's turn west was not entirely in accordance with Lee's view of the optimal deployment of forces so as to conceal his intentions from Hooker.


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