<br /> Lee Letter: g207

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jefferson Davis

Res. returned to his Excellency the President. The best way for the citizens of the Northern Neck [of Virginia] to save their cattle[,] grain[,] bacon &c from these marauding parties is to send them across the Rapp[ahannoc]k and sell them to the Confederate government. To keep their produce stored in large quantities is but to invite the enemy. A proper combination & energy on the part of the citizens with what aid government agents can give would in this way save a great deal for the army & the people. Much has been accomplished by this means in the past winter. There are no companies which I can well detach for duty in this region. If the members of the two companies spoken of by Mr Newton are liable to conscription they should be in the army. If not then they form very good material for protection against raiding parties being thoroughly acquainted with the country. If they act with the boldness & spirit which should characterise men who are protecting their families from insult & their homes from desolation they would give the enemy a wholesome fear of coming into the country.

R E Lee Genl

Notes:

Robert Edward Lee PapersDuke University Library

Printed in Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee’s Dispatches, Dispatch No. 207.