<br /> Lee Letter: g009

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

I have the honor to report for your information that after the enemy had been driven from the left bank of the Chickahominy on the 27th inst:, he seemed to have determined to abandon his position on the right bank & commenced promptly & quietly his arrangements for its evacuation – His intention was discovered but his proposed route could not be ascertained, though efforts were made all day yesterday with that view – Having however discovered that no movements were made on his part to maintain or recover his communications with York river, which were entirely severed by our occupation of the York river railroad & the Williamsburg road; his only course seemed to me was to make for James river & thus open communications with his gun boats and fleet – Though not yet certain of his route, the whole army has been put in motion upon this supposition – It is certain that he is south of the Chickahominy and can only cross it at or below Long bridges Genl. Stuart is on the left bank watching his movements in that direction. General Jackson will cross to the right bank at Grapevine bridge. Genl. Magruder pursuing down the Wms. Burg road. Genl Huger on the Charles City, & Genl Longstreet on the Darby town. The Cavalry on the several roads south of the Chickahominy have not reported any of his forces in their front – I have directed the staff depts to send over to the battle ground north of the Chickahominy & secure all the public property left there of every description, & also that which has been abandoned by the enemy in his camp on the south side, where their tents are now still standing. I request that these orders may be repeated by the Sec. of War – Col. Lay & Col. Harvey have been charged with the execution of my directions in this matter on the north side of the Chickahominy. I am with high respect

Your obt Servt

R. E. Lee.

Notes:

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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 9.