<br /> Lee Letter: w185

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Henry T. Clark


Your letter of the 13th inst is received. My letter of the 13th was only intended to present to you the great need in which we stand of men, and by no means to imply a doubt of your willingness to respond to the utmost to the calls that may be made upon you by the country.

I am informed by the Chief of Ordnance that the invoice of the Southwick does not show any arms for North Carolina. Her cargo of arms was marked for the War Department, for the State of Georgia, and for the State of Louisiana. There were seven cases of guns marked 6-1/4 B.G. besides the above. This mark is not understood. It would appear from this, that the arms intended for North Carolina did not come in the Southwick, and if, as your Excellency supposes, the arrivals at Wilmington & Charleston were from the cargo of that vessel, your arms were not among those received. Northern papers report two captures of vessels laden with arms, and it may be that those belonging to North Carolina were among them. It will be impossible to ascertain the fact until we receive the invoices of the other vessels that took arms to Nassau. The Chief of Ordnance has no knowledge of the 500 arms left at the Navy Yard in Norfolk. The Secretary of the Navy will no doubt inform you as to the disposition, if any, that has been made of them. I am glad to learn that such vigorous efforts are being made to process arms in your state, and hope that your Excellency will procure all that can be had, as we must depend to a great extent for our supply upon obtaining those that are in the hands of citizens, and such as we can manufacture.

I am Governor, very respy Your obt servt,

R E Lee Genl


R. E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library

Transcription based on a facsimile. A note at bottom of the letter’s second page reads: “Genl R E Lee – In reply to letter relative to Jirneshry <illegible> Men & arms etc – May 18th 1862.”