June 7, 1862
Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War:
I grieve at the death of General Ashby. I hope he will find a successor. I doubt whether Radford1 would be. Ransom cannot be spared from his brigade, nor would he, I presume, exchange his command for the cavalry of Jackson. We must endeavor to find some one. General Stuart mentions Col. Fitz. Lee, of the First Virginia Cavalry. I do not know whether he could carry with him Ashby’s men.
Send the Georgia regiments you mention. They will be some help. We must aid a gallant man if we perish.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R E Lee,
P.S. How would Col. Thomas T. Mundford, of Second Virginia Cavalry, answer? He seems to be a good officer, judging at this distance, and was elected in place of Radford. General George [H.] Steauart [sic]2, of the Maryland Brigade, is with Jackson. He is a cavalry officer.
1. Richard Carlton Walker Radford (1822-1886) was from Bedford County, Virginia. He attended the Virginia Military Academy and the United States Military Academy. He served in the United States cavalry and then a Virginia cavalry regiment in the Confederacy. He worked as a planter after the war in Bedford County until his death on 1886 November 2.
2. George H. Steuart (1826-1903) was born in Baltimore. He joined the 1st Maryland infantry regiment and was wounded and taken prisoner in the service of the Confederate army. He died in Maryland in 1903.
Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, p. 580.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 March 2