<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


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

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