Doc. 126.-General Lee's order in reference, to operations in Virginia, in 1862.
headquarters army of Northern Virginia, February 28, 1863.General orders, No. 29. The General Commanding announces to the army the series of successes of the cavalry of Northern Virginia during the winter months, in spite of the obstacles of almost impassable roads, limited forage, and inclement weather. 1. About the first of December, General Hampton, with a detachment of his brigade, crossed the Upper Rappahannock, surprised two squadrons of Union cavalry, captured several commissioned officers, and about one hundred men, with their horses, arms, colors, and accoutrements, without loss on his part. 2. On the fourth of December, under the direction of Colonel Beale and Major Waller, with a detachment of sixty dismounted men of the Ninth Virginia cavalry, Gen. William F. Lee's brigade crossed the Rappahannock below Port Royal, in skiffs, attacked the enemy's cavalry pickets, captured forty-nine, including several commissioned officers, with horses, arms, etc., and recrossed the river, without loss. 3. On the eleventh December, Gen. Hampton crossed the Rappahannock with a detachment of his brigade, cut the enemy's communications at Dumfries, entered the town a few hours before Sigel's corps, then advancing on Fredericksburgh, captured twenty wagons with a guard of about ninety men, and returned safely to his camp. On the sixteenth December he again crossed the river with a small force, proceeded to Occoquan, surprised the pickets between that place and Dumfries, captured fifty wagons, bringing many of then across the Occoquan in a ferry-boat, and beating back a brigade of cavalry sent to their rescue. He reached the Rappahannock with thirty wagons and one hundred and thirty prisoners. 4. On the twenty-fifth December, Gen. Stuart, with detachments of Hampton's, Fitz-Hugh Lee's, and W. F. Lee's brigades, under the command of their officers, respectively, made a force reconnoisance in the rear of the enemy's lines, attacked him at Dumfries, capturing men and wagons at that place, advanced toward Alexandria, drove his cavalry with considerable loss toward Occoquan, captured his camp on that stream, burned the Accotink bridge on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, then passing north of Fairfax Court-House, returned to Culpeper with more than two hundred prisoners and twenty-five wagons, with a loss on his part of six men wounded, and Capt. Bullock, a most gallant officer, killed. 5. On February sixteenth, Captains McNeil and Stamp, of Gen. Imboden's cavalry, with twenty-three men, attacked near Romney a supply-train of twenty-seven wagons, guarded by about one hundred and fifty cavalry and infantry, routed the guard, captured seventy-two prisoners, and one hundred and six horses, with equipment, etc., and though hotly pursued, returned to his camp with his captives without the loss of a man  This is the third feat of the same character in which Captain McNeil has displayed skill and daring. 6. Gen. W. F. Lee, with a section of his artillery, under Lieut. Ford, on twenty-fifth February, attacked two of the enemy's gunboats at Tappahannock, and drove them down the river, daming them, but suffering no loss on his part. 7. Gen. Fitz-Hugh Lee, with a detachment of four hundred of his brigade, crossed the swollen waters of the Rappahannock on the twenty-fifth of February, reconnoitred the enemy's lines to within a few miles of Falmouth, broke through his outposts, fell upon his camps, killed and wounded many, took one hundred and fifty prisoners, including five commissioned and ten non-commissioned officers, and recrossed the river with the loss of only fourteen killed, wounded, and missing. 8. On twenty-sixth February, Brig.-Gen. W. E. Jones, with a small force, attacked two regiments of cavalry, belonging to Milroy's command, in the Shenandoah Valley, routed them and took two hundred prisoners, with horses, arms, etc.; with the loss on his part of only two killed and two wounded. 9. Major White, of General Jones's command, crossed the Potomac in a boat, attacked several parties of the enemy's cavalry, near Poolesville, Maryland, and beside those he killed and wounded, took seventy-seven prisoners, with horses, arms, and wagons, with slight loss to himself. Capt. Randolph, of the Black Horse cavalry, has made many bold reconnoissances in Fauquier, taking more than two hundred prisoners, and several hundred stand of arms. Lieut. Mosby, with his detachment, has done much to harass the enemy, attacking him boldly on several occasions, and capturing many prisoners. A detachment of seventeen men of Hampton's brigade, under the brave Sergeant Michael, attacked and routed a body of forty-five Federals, near Wolf Run Shoals, killing and wounding several, and bringing off fifteen prisoners, with the loss on our part of Sergeant Sparks, of the Second South-Carolina regiment, who, a few days before, with two of his comrades attacked, in Brentsville, six of the enemy sent to capture him, killed three and captured the rest. In announcing these achievements, the Commanding General takes special pleasure in adverting to the promptness of the officers in striking a successful blow whenever the opportunity offered, and the endurance and gallantry with which the men have always supported their commanders. These deeds give assurance of vigilance, fortitude, and activity, and of the performance of still more brilliant actions in the coming campaign.
Robert E. Lee, General.