<br /> Lee Letter: g109

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr. President

Information I received yesterday at noon led me to believe that the enemy was proceeding from near Hanover Town by Hawes’ I Shop towards the Mechanicsville Road, and induced me to take position on the ridge between the Totopotomey and Beaver Dam Creeks, so as to intercept his march to Richmond. On reaching this point I could only learn that cavalry had been seen as far as Hawes’ Shop, and that a column of infantry was seen from Hanover Court House passing down what is called the River Road, which I understand to be the road from Hanover Ct. House to Hanover Town. The want of information leads me to doubt whether the enemy is pursuing the route just described, or whether, now that he finds the road open by Ashland, he may not prefer to take it. This causes me to pause for a while, but should he proceed on the road to Mechanicsville, the army will be placed on the Totopotomey Ridge.

Should he on the other hand take the Telegraph Road, I shall try to intercept him as near Ashland as I can. In either event I shall endeavor to engage him as soon as possible, and will be near enough to Richmond for General Beauregard to unite with me if practicable. Should any field nearer to Richmond be more convenient to him and he will designate it, I will endeavor to deliver battle there. I am with great respect

Your obt. servt.

R. E. Lee Genl.

Notes:

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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 109.