Robert E Lee
Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia
25th August 1862 – Near Brandy Station, Virginia
To: Major- General Thomas Jackson
General, I believe that we must take bold action if we are to suppress that miscreant Pope before McClellan’s army reinforces him. To achieve this we must draw his forces away from Washington and I plan to do so by sending your Corps on a flanking march to the west via Thoroughfare Gap while Longstreet holds the Rappahannock Line. If you can you should cause panic and confusion in Pope’s rear and threaten his supply depot at Manassas Junction. This will enable the main body of our army to slip away from the Rappahannock and join with you in favourable circumstances and on ground of our own choosing.
If you get the chance to isolate and beat a smaller part of the enemy army you should do so but do not risk your Corps unnecessarily. I have every confidence in your abilities to carry out my orders and am sure that you will do all that the South and Virginia could ask of you over the coming days.
General Robert E Lee