<br /> Lee Letter: g171

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee to
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President

I had the honour to receive last evg your letter of the 31st – I am sorry to hear that Genl Laws anticipates injustice at the hands of Genl Longstreet – I do not, & think that Genl Laws has nothing to do but his whole duty, & he need fear nothing – I know of no objection to making the transfer of his brigade to Hokes division, provided the change is acceptable to the brigades themselves – It is neither right or politic to consult the wishes of the Commr alone.

The information contained in the notes you enclosed me, I hope is exaggerated as regards to numbers – Grant will get every man he can & 150000 men is the number generally assumed by Northern papers & reports – Unless we can obtain a reasonable approximation to his force I fear a great calamity will befall us. On last Thursday at Burgess’ mill we had three brigades to oppose six divisions – On our left two divisions to oppose two corps – The inequality is too great – Our Cavy at Burgess Mill I think saved the day – I came along our whole line yesterday from Chaffins Bluff to this place. Today I shall visit the lines here & to-morrow go down to the right. I always find something to correct on the lines, but the great necessity I observed yesterday, was the want of men. With great respect

Your obt servt

R. E. Lee

Notes:

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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 171.