<br /> Lee Letter: g048

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

I beg leave to return you my thanks for your prompt consideration & action on my letter of the 20th – I may have misled you in my remarks upon Genls Heth & Pender as to my views regarding their promotion. I desired to call your attention to the fact, that if Genl A. P. Hill was promoted, a Commander for his division, would be required, & to bring to your consideration the merits of the two principal candidates in the division. If this was your understanding & you decided in favour of Heth, it was all I intended – I have a high estimate of Genl Heth. But Genl Pender has proved himself a capable officer. Has been conspicuous in every battle, won the confidence of the division, & would seem to be entitled to the promotion – On announcing yesterday to Genl Hill, the promotion of himself & Gen Ewell, & my intention to divide the army into three corps, he in the afternoon addressed me the accompg letter. You will see his opinion of the two officers. I had always intended to have taken two of the six brigades of A. P. Hills division & to have united them with Ransoms & Cookes & formed a division, forming another division of the remaining four – I think it will be better to give this latter to Pender & the former to Heth – should it be thought better to promote him, rather than Ransom. Pender has long been identified with those four brigades – Has at times been in Command. His conduct in the last battle was most gallant & I fear the effect upon the men of passing him over in favour of another not so identified with them. I am very respy

your obt servt

R. E. Lee Genl


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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 48.