<br /> Lee Letter: g162

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee to
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr. President

The soap ration for this Army has become a serious question – Since leaving Orange C.H. the Commissary Lt Col. Cole has only been able to make three issues of three days rations each. The great want of cleanliness which is a necessary consequence of these very limited issues is now producing sickness among the men in the trenches, and must effect their self respect & morale. The importance of the subject and the general complaints which have arisen must be my excuse for troubling you with the matter – An offer of 24000 pounds at $3.75/100 has been made to the Commissary of the Army but the Commissary General declined to authorize the purchase at that price. – He speaks of the purchase of several lots at a smaller price $2.50/100 per pound but holds out no definite prospect of sending an adequate supply – such is the condition of the troops & their immediate necessities in regard to soap are so great that I hope the purchase of the 24000 pounds at even the advanced price of $3.75/100 will be authorized & that contracts will be entered into at once for the future regular and adequate supply of the soap ration to the troops – Their health, comfort & respectability cannot otherwise be secured. With great respect

your 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. 162.