Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia
December 19, 1864
Dispatch of today received. Beauregard and Hardee must judge of necessity of evacuating Savannah. If done troops can be saved, and by uniting all in direction of Branchville any column marching on Charleston would be threatened and communication preserved. I cannot find that any troops have left Grant. He has united to him the sixth and nineteenth corps. If Hoke and Johnson are sent south it will necessitate the abandonment of Richmond with the present opposing force.
R E Lee
Source: The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee, edited by Clifford Dowdey and Louis Manarin, p. 878.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 December 19