Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
June 6, 1864.
Lieut. Gen. U. S. Grant,
Commanding U.S. Army:
General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date and regret to find that I did not make myself understood in my communication of yesterday. I intended to say that I could not consent to the burial of the dead and the removal of the wounded between the armies in the way you propose, but that when either party desire such permission it shall be asked for by flag of truce in the usual way.
Until I receive a proposition from you on the subject to which I can accede with propriety, I have directed any parties you may send under white flags as mentioned in your letter to be turned back.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee,
Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 36, Part 3, p. 638.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 June 7