<br /> Lee Letter: g081

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

I very much regret that you should be required to investigate complaints from members of this army. The one from Col: O’Neal 26th Alaba – has been presented to me several times, & I think this is not the first occasion on which it has been brought to your attention. I have stated that I was aware of no injustice having been done Col: O’Neal that the recommendations for a commander to Rodes former brigade was made from military considerations, & that the action of the Dept. had conformed to my recommendations. I feel aggrieved at this repeated charge of injustice, & but that we are upon the eve of a campaign in which the presence & services of every one will be required, I should ask for a court of Inquiry into the matter. Should you think one can be instituted at this time without injury, I request it be ordered. Unless I have been entirely mistaken I think the facts will be found different from what Col O’Neal has supposed & have been stated. I Concur with the Honble Mr Phelan in the belief that Col: O’Neal is a most true brave & gallant officer. Still I believed that Cols: Gordon, Morgan & Battle gave promise of making better Brigade Commanders, & therefore recommended them before him. The regt: of Col: O’Neal by orders from the A & I Gen’s office 12 Feby. ’64 has been transferred from this army to that of Gen Polks, I am unable to compare his qualifications with those of the officers of the Alaba regts: mentioned by Mr Phelan, & therefore cannot say whether he is the best commander that can be selected for a brigade composed of those regts: If he is I should feel gratified at his promotion. I enclose copies of papers showing my action in reference to matters referred to in Col: O’Neals Complaint. I also return the papers transmitted by your Excy. I have the honour to be with great respect

Your most 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. 81.