JACKSON, Thomas J. "Stonewall," Lt. General, C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("T.J. Jackson Lt. General") TO BRIGADIER GENERAL W.E. "GRUMBLE" JONES (1824-1864), Headquarters District, Winchester, Virginia, 21 November 1862. 2 full pages, 4to, written in rather light ink as is sometimes the case with Jackson, spotting along central vertical fold.
JACKSON LEAVES THE VALLEY TO JOIN LEE AT FREDERICKSBURG, LEAVING THE VALLEY TO "GRUMBLE" JONES
A very fine, detailed letter written the day before Jackson left the Valley for Fredericksburg. McClellan, having narrowly prevented Lee's advance at Antietam, had been ordered to take the offensive, crossed the Potomac in late October, but on November 7 was relieved of command and replaced by Ambrose Burnside, who made preparations to cross the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg; Lee quickly summoned Longstreet's I Corps and Jackson's II Corps. Jackson writes: "I leave here early tomorrow morning and am very desirous of seeing you before I start; as the command of the District will devolve on you, as Genl. Geo. H. Stewart's health is bad as shown by Surgeon's certificate this evening handed me, as to prevent his remaining in command."
"If convenient, please breakfast with me at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. Should you be prevented from coming, I would suggest that sometime during the day you come up & have an interview with Gen'l S[tewart] respecting the condition of the M[arylan]d line which will be under your command. My own opinion is that the best thing you can do is keep the Infty in camp drilling, and only to bring a small party of select men into Winchester for the purpose of enforcing order and keeping persons belonging to the army, and not on duty in town, out of the place. The Cav[alr]y probably can be made useful in connection with your Cav[alr]y. It is very desirable that you should have a good commanding officer here, not only for the purpose of preserving order, but also for enforcing discipline in the M[arylan]d line. It appears to me that one of the best methods of preserving order in the town will be to keep the troops out of the place & those who violate the order to have them arrested You can establish Hdqrs here should you prefer."
"In this event, should you be forced to fall back [by] enemy action you may be able to make the infantry useful in connection with your Cavalry. There is also a Batt[allio]n of Light Art[illery] with the Md. Line." He goes on to name the Post Quartermaster and Commissary, and ends: "If you should have to evacuate the town, I desire the tobacco stored away here to be destroyed. One of the best methods of doing this is said to throw it into water. There is a small stream near town which by building a small dam might give water sufficient."
Both Jackson's and Longstreet's men had joined Lee at Fredericksburg by 30 November, giving Lee some 78,000 men with which to oppose Burnside's 122,000. But the Confederates had ample time in which to entrench along the heights and when Burnside at last crossed the river on 13 December, their heavy fire proved devastatingly effective against massed frontal attacks by the Union force.