<br /> Lee Letter: g114

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

As I informed you by telegraph, my conference with Gen. Beauregard resulted in the conclusion on his part, that we cannot spare any troops to reinforce this army. He thinks the enemy in his front superior to him in numbers. Of this I am unable to judge, but suppose of course that with his means of information, his opinion is correct. I think it very important to strengthen this army as much as possible, and it has occurred to me that the presence of the two armies north and south of James River, may render it possible to spare with safety some of the troops in Richmond or its defences. It is immaterial to what State the troops may belong, as I can place them in brigades from the same, and even if they be few in numbers, they will add something to our strength. I submit this proposition to your judgment and hope you may be able to find means to increase our numbers without endangering the safety of Richmond. I think it important that troops enough should be retained to man the works at Drewry’s & Chapin’s Bluffs and to support the batteries around the city, in order to guard against a sudden attack by cavalry or otherwise. If this army is unable to resist Grant the troops under Gen. Beauregard and in the city will be unable to defend it.

Very respectfully 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. 114.