<br /> Lee Letter: g013

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis


After a thorough reconnaissance of the position taken up by the enemy on James River, I found him strongly posted and effectually flanked by his Gunboats – In the present condition of our troops I did not think proper to risk an attack, on the results of which so much depended – I caused field batteries to play on his forces, and on his transports, from points on the river below. But they were too light to accomplish much, and were always attacked with superior force by the Gunboats – I have caused the army to fall back to a position higher up the river, in order to meet the enemy should he again advance on Richmond, leaving the cavalry to watch his movements below – I have returned to my old quarters at Dobb’s house, & will proceed at once to re-organize our forces for active operations.’ We have lost many valuable officers whose places must be supplied, and our thinned ranks must be filled as rapidly as possible. I have the honour to be Very respectfully

Your obt servt.

R. E. Lee Gen.


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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 13.