<br /> Lee Letter: g073

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

I heard some days since that several men of this army mostly Louisianians that were in or passed through Richmond, were joining Genl Morgans Command. I wrote to the Secy. of War on the subject & requested it might be stopped. Since then I have recd other evidences of the fact. A member of my staff informs me that Dr T. W. Hancock of Jackson Hospital Richmond stated to him yesterday, that a recruiting officer of Genl Morgan has visited his Hospital, promised the men clothing & two months furlough, & that 25 or 30 convalescents whom he was about to send to this army, deserted & he understands were forwarded to Decatur Geo: Dr. Hancock also stated that he heard from 200 to 250 men in other Hospitals had been ordered away. I am sure that Genl Morgan would neither countenance or authorize such proceedings, but I know how unscrupulous many men are in raising companies. You will see if this conduct is allowed, that all discipline is destroyed & our armies will be ruined.

I have therefore to request that all these men be returned to this army, & that the officers, who have been engaged in this illicit conduct be punished. I have the honour to be

Your 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. 73.