• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
Petersburg, Va., June 28, 1864
Hon. James A. Seddon,

Secretary of War:

    Sir: I regret to learn by your letter of the 25th instant, this day received, of the inconveniences to which the departments of the Government at Richmond are subjected by the detention in the field of the local troops. So far as I can judge at this time many, if not all, of them might be returned to their occupations for a season. The dismounted men of the cavalry might, as you suggest, supply the place of the local troops for a time, but they are an uncertain force, constantly changing and dependent upon the condition of their horses. They are of much use with their divisions in their operations in the field guarding their trains, camps, &c., and when circumstances permit accompanying them on their expeditions fighting on foot. Lately, while the cavalry have been operating in the vicinity of Richmond, as the horses have become disabled the men have been sent back to their wagon camps, &c., to rest and recruit, and I presume that those are the camps to which you allude in the neighborhood of that city. All the dismounted men have been ordered to follow their divisions south of James River with a view of establishing them as guards on the railroad in addition to the other duties which they habitually perform. If you think they can be better devoted to the occupation of the trenches around Richmond I have no objection and will see what can be done to carry out your views.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R E Lee



Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 40, Part 2, p. 696

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 June 28


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