<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.

Notes:

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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 162.