<br /> Lee Letter: g205

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

The Communication of Govr [Francis W.] Pickens [of South Carolina] of the 19th ulto: to his Excl the President has been read with much attention. I agree with him as to the importance of the preservation of the R. R. to Charleston, Savannah & Country[?]. I also Concur in his opinion that the Cavl under Col: [William S.] Walker & such Infy force as is available ought to be able to protect it against the present force of the enemy. It is hoped the troops retained in & near Charleston will be Sufficient to hold the harbor & the portion of the road near it. Our experience & the result of our operations against the enemy does not prove that troops extended along a line of R.R. are able to protect it. It is better they be massed at Salient & Commanding points, to repress the attack of the enemy & strike him if he advances. The regulars under Col: [John] Dunovant were retained in S. C. as their Services were supposed important for its defence, not their value was overlooked in the operations here.

respy Submitted to the President

R E Lee Genl

Notes:

Robert Edward Lee PapersDuke University Library

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 205.