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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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

Hicksford Va., January 2, 1865.

Lieut. Col. W. H. Taylor,

                        Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of Northern Virginia:

            Colonel: I have the honor most respectfully and urgently to request that those detachments from this command with Brigadier-General Young in South Carolina be returned to their proper commands. The disorganizing and injurious effect of their being thus separated will be seriously felt in the difficulty of securing the return of a large number of men being sent home with horse details. The odds and ends of regiments detached in this way, without a complement of officers or proper organization, rarely ever accomplish any good, even under the most favorable circumstances, and situated as these men are it is scarcely to be expected that they can be made efficient. The command to which I have been assigned has been detached in every direction by circumstances entirely beyond my control, and I respectfully ask, as an act of justice to myself and to the service, that I be allowed to collect it during this apparent cessation, for the winter, of active hostilities. If it is necessary that any portion of this command be sent to South Carolina I would much prefer, and it would be better for the service, that a regiment or even a brigade be sent instead of this body of disorganized men from all the regiments.

            I am, colonel, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

            M. C. Butler,




[First indorsement]


January 2, 1865

Respectfully forwarded, approved.

These men were sent out to Georgia to aid in the defense of the State, with the expectation that they would be kept there only a short time. They are now needed here, and General Young’s presence is greatly required with his brigade.

Wade Hampton,




[Second indorsement]


January 16, 1865

            As it is in contemplation to send Butler’s division to South Carolina, I think it unnecessary to order these men back. They should all be ordered to join their division, on its reaching South Carolina.








Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 46, Part 2, pp. 1003-1004

Transcribed by Daniel Shevalier, 2018 June 19

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