<br /> Lee Letter: g003

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

I had the honor to receive on my return to my quarters last evg your very kind letter of the 6 – In reference to Genl. R. H. Anderson & your conception of his qualifications I enclose a note from Genl. Longstreet. I know little of Genl. A. personally except as Capt: of Dragoons. He was a favourite in his Regt: & was considered a good officer. I am told he is now under a pledge of abstinence, which I hope will protect him from the vice he fell into. Longstreet is a Capital soldier. His recommendations hitherto have been good, & I have confidence in him – Unless Huger had other duty, I do not know where to get a division for Genl. A – – yet awhile. I have called for returns, but have not yet reed them. I have also sent a circular to Division Commanders to see what can be done as to reorganizing brigades by states. I fear the result. Nor do I think it the best organization. I would rather command a brigade composed of regts from different states. I think it could be better controuled, more emulation would be excited & there would be less combination against authority. I can understand why officers looking to political preferment would prefer it, & it may be more agreeable to the men. The latter consideration has much weight with me. But as it is your wish & may be in conformity to the spirit of the land, I will attempt what can be done. It must necessarily be slow & will require much time. All new brigades I will endeavour so to arrange.

As regards the petition of the officers of Whitings brigade I do not see how it can be complied with. It will leave him without a brigade. He is still its Commander, though at present in command of a division. The distribution of the brigade will have the same effect. The other matters to which you allude I will call the attention of the Division & Brigade Insprs to. I know none of the circumstances.

I am extremely obliged to you for your consideration for my comfort. My horse does not fatigue me. He goes very comfortably & perhaps suits me as I become more accustomed to him as well as any I can get. His gallop & walk are very pleasant.

Very respy. & truly

R. E. Lee


W. J. De Renne CollectionWormsloe, Chatham County, Georgia (1914)

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 3.