<br /> Lee Letter: g117

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr. President

Your letter of 4 P.M. yesterday is just received. My letter to the Hon. Secretary of war of 5 A.M. this morning, will have informed your Excy of the events of yesterday & the day before and your aid Col Johnson conveyed to you those of to-day. The right of your line extends to Turkey Hill, which is the last hill on this side of the Chickahominy, and covers McClellan’s Br[idge.] I do not know how the report of the advance of the enemy’s cavalry to that point originated. It is not correct. I sent Gen. Fitz Lee with his divn over the Chickahominy to Bottom’s Br[idge] yestereday. He reports this morning that he has the river strongly guarded to that point, with pickets over to the James.

So far every attack of the enemy has been repulsed. His assaults began early this morning, and continued until about 9 o’clock. The only impression made on our line was at a salient of Gen Breckenridge’s position, where the enemy broke through and captured front of a battalion. He was immediately driven out with severe loss by Gen Finnegan’s brigade & the Md. Battalion, and the line restored.

I am gratified to learn of the efforts made by yours Excy to bring out troops. I think it very important that those men engaged in preparing ammunition should remain, as your Excy has directed.

Gen Hoke reports that the troops in his front are said to belong to Butler’s forces, and it is said that prisoners have been captured from the 18th corps. I hope that Gen Beauregard will be able to find out the strength of the enemy in his front, and that he can spare additional reinforcements for this army at once. No time should be lost if reinforcements can be had.

Very respy 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. 117.