June 13, 1863.
I send down Colonel Long to see if possible what this move of the enemy up the Peninsula is. I believe it to be a raid to destroy our crops and lay waste our country. All the accounts I get agree in stating that the enemy has sent off his troops from Suffolk, Yorktown, Gloucester, etc., to reinforce General Hooker.
He can only have a small force in that region, which he has wholly collected for this expedition. We must do the same and beat him back at all hazards. General Hooker's army has not moved in that direction as far as I can be certain of anything in war. It is extending now up the Rappahannock.
I hope Fitzhugh is doing well. Let me know how he gets on. Give much love to your mother and sisters and remember me to all friends.
God bless you all.
SOURCES: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 246-7; For the date of this letter and a full transcription see Clifford Dowdey and Louis H. Manarin, Editors,The Wartime Papers of R. L. Lee, p. 514.