<br /> Lee Letter: g063

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr. President,

I have the honour to return the letters enclosed in that of your Excellency’s of the 4th inst; No arrangements have been made for consolidating the regiments as Col Holt supposes. It is a subject that would require time and to be beneficial, should be executed judiciously. I have thought it better to keep the regiments as they are for the present, and with brigades where it could be done to advantage. I should prefer to recruit the regiments if possible, and hoped that it could be done under your recent proclamation, calling all men under forty five with service. I cannot say now what is the exact strength of Col Holt’s regiment, but it must be very desirable to recruit it up to the standard he proposes. To send it to Ga at this time for that purpose, I do not think advisable, as many other regts would consider they had equal claims to the same indulgence, and thus a large force would be taken from the army. At this time every man is wanted in the ranks that can be got there, and it would be far preferable that the accounts should be sent to the regiments. As to the propriety of converting Col Holt’s into a cavalry regt, I think it had better be continued as infantry. If we could get horses for our dismounted cavalry we should have as many as could be supported. But getting horses is the difficulty. If they can be procured, I recommend that they be furnished to the cavalry already organized and partially instructed. I am with great respect,

Your Excellency’s obt. servt.

R. E. Lee Genl.

Notes:

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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 63.