<br /> Lee Letter: g157

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr. President

Letters which I have received from Gen. Holmes do not represent affairs in North Carolina in a favourable condition – I do not know what position he holds in the State or what is his command – If his health and strength qualify him for the duty I should think it would be well to give him supreme control of the reserves of the State – From his account their organization proceeds slowly perhaps necessarily so, but every stimulant should be given to hasten it – If Gen. Holmes is incapacitated for these duties I recommend that some officer be sent there who is qualified – From all that I can learn he does not expect to obtain more than twenty five hundred of the Junior Reserves for service in Eastern Carolina & the maintenance of the railroads in that section. He represents affairs in the Western part of the state to be in a critical position. Col. Palmer commands in that district and Gen Holmes thinks he ought to be ordered to report to him – I do not know Col. Palmer nor do I see any actual necessity for his being under Gen. Holmes’ command provided Col P. has control over the reserves in that section of the State & is able to repress the deserters and disloyal who are represented to be banding together to resist authority! The Governor would be more efficacious than any one also in repressing this spirit of insubordination and in enforcing law and order. If Col. Palmer’s is independent the reserves of the Western section should be reported directly to him – Now, I understand, they are reported to Gen. Holmes who assigns them to Col. Palmer. I am with great respect

Your obt servt.

R. E. Lee


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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 157.