• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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.



Richmond, Va., January 4, 1864

General R. E. Lee,

Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:


General: Your letter of 2d received. The Commissary-General of Subsistence has ordered some 90,000 pounds of salt meat from Wilmington for your army. He has no knowledge of the droves of cattle referred to. The emergency justifies impressment from stock on hand for year’s consumption by private parties and corporations of so much as is required for immediate use of army. This should be done so as to be most equal and least odious. The progress on the boats of the Neuse and Roanoke is slow and too uncertain to fix a date for completion. Your suggestion is approved, but who can and will execute it? You could give it form, which would insure success, but without your personal attention I fear such failures as have elsewhere been suffered. It would be well to send the brigade, and if circumstances permit, you had better go down; otherwise, I will go myself, though it could only be for a very few days, Congress being in session.

Very respectfully and truly, yours,

Jefferson Davis




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 33, p. 1064

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 2 

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