Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

January 11, 1864


His Excellency Jefferson Davis:

Mr. President: I inclose a dispatch received from General Early. I recommend that an intelligent scout be sent to Yorktown to verify the report of the landing of provisions, &c., and that a constant watch be kept in that quarter. There may be some foundation for the report, or it may have originated in General Butler’s proposition for volunteers to liberate the prisoners in Richmond. I have recommended that these prisoners be all sent far into the interior. I have two brigades of cavalry in Caroline, under General Hampton, who will be in position to strike such an expedition in flank, and can send two brigades of infantry within reach of Richmond if there is any truth in the report.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 33, p. 1081

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2021 November 21