It appears that the enemy design to attack us. The following is Lee's dispatch:
“culpepper, June 9th, 1863.
“To General S. Cooper.
“The enemy crossed the Rappahannock this morning at five o'clock A.M., at the various fords from Beverly to Kelly's, with a large force of cavalry, accompanied by infantry and artillery. After a severe contest till five P.M., Gen. Stuart drove them across the river.
R. E. Lee.”
We have not received the details of this combat, further than that it was a surprise, not creditable to our officers in command, by which a portion of ten regiments and 600 horses were taken by the enemy. We lost, killed, also a number of cavalry colonels. We, too, captured several hundred prisoners, which have arrived in the city. Of the killed and wounded, I have yet obtained no information — but it is supposed several hundred fell on both sides.
Still I do not think it probable this affair, coupled with the fact that the enemy have effected a lodgment on this side of the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg, and are still crossing, will frustrate any plan conceived by Lee to invade their country. If, however, Lincoln concentrates all his forces in the East for another attempt to capture Richmond, and should bring 300,000 men against us — we shall have near 200,000 to oppose them.
The Northern Democratic papers are filled with the proceedings of indignation meetings, denouncing the Republican Administration and advocating peace.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 345