Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, July 13, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded to the honorable Secretary of War.
It is impossible to detach troops from this army to defend the locality mentioned. A small force sent there would only attract the efforts of the enemy to capture it, and would be very much exposed. If the people will do nothing to defend themselves against such outrages I can see no remedy for them. I think arms should furnished them, and, if practicable, some officer sent there to aid in organizing them. They could easily repel such marauding parties if they would exert themselves.
R.E. Lee, General.