<br /> Lee Letter: g204

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Mr President,

The movement of Gen Grant to Dinwiddie C.H. seriously threatens our position, and diminishes our ability to maintain our present lines in front of Richmond and Petersburg In the first place, it cuts us off from our depot at Stony Creek at which point, forage for the cavalry was delivered by the Weldon R.R., and upon which we relied to maintain it. It also renders it more difficult to withdraw from our position, cuts us off from the White Oak road, and gives the enemy an advantageous point on our right and rear. From this point, I fear he can readily cut both the south side & the Danville Railroads being far superior to us in cavalry. This in my opinion obliged us to prepare for the necessity of evacuating our position on James River at once, and also to consider the best means of accomplishing it, and our future course. I should like very much to have the views of your Excellency upon this matter as well as counsel, and would repair to Richmond for the purpose, did I not feel that my presence here is necessary. Should I find it practicable I will do so, but should it be convenient for your Excellency or the Secretary of War to visit Hd Qrs, I should be glad to see you. The reported advance of Stoneman from the West, and the movement of the enemy upon the Roanoke, add to our difficulties. Very respectfully

Your obt serv’t

R. E. Lee Genl.

Notes:

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

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 204.