<br /> Lee Letter: g035

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr. President

Allow me to congratulate you & the country upon your safe return to Richmond. I trust your health has been invigorated, & that you have enjoyed great satisfaction as well as comfort from the condition of affairs in the great west. I know that your visit has inspired the people with confidence, & encouraged them to renewed exertions & greater sacrifices in the defense of the Country, & I attribute mainly the great victory of Genl Bragg to the courage diffused by your cheering words & presence. I hope it will result in driving the enemy beyond the Ohio. We have also much to do in the East. My letters to the Dept. will inform you of the condition of affairs here. I am more uneasy at the state of affairs in North Carolina. Wilmington which I think is the real point of attack ought to be defended to the last extremity. It can be reinforced by Beauregard, & North Carolina ought to turn out every man in the State for its defence & the protection of its Eastern frontier. Genl D. H. Hill is suffering greatly in health, & seems depressed in spirits. Do you think he could be of service in arousing his people & in calming conflicting political views, which the Secy of War & Genl G. W. Smith seems to think threaten disastrous consequences? If so I will detach him from this army. I know you will have much to occupy your attention. I will not trespass farther on your time, but wishing you all happiness & prosperity, & many returns of the New Year, remain with great esteem,

your obt. servt

R. E. Lee


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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 35.