Hq’rs Army of Northern Virginia

January 22, 1864

 

The commanding general considers it due to the state that the temporary reduction of rations has been caused by circumstances beyond the control of those charged with its support. Its welfare and comfort are the objects of his constant and earnest solicitude, and no effort has been spared to provide for its wants. It is hoped that the exertions now being made will render the necessity but of short duration, but the history of the army has shown that the country can require no sacrifice too great for its patriotic devotion.

Soldiers, you tread with no unequal steps the road by which your fathers marched through suffering, privation and blood to independence.

Continue to emulate in the future, as you have in the past, their valor in arms, their patient endurance of hardships, their high resolves to be free, which no trial could shape, no bribes seduce, no danger appal, and be assured that the just God who crowned their efforts with success, will in his own good time send down his blessing upon yours.

R. E. Lee

General

 

 

 

Source: Sarah Henderson Smith Papers, Mss1 Sm 653 a, p. 56, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 August 1

 

As a comparison, here is General Orders No. 7 from the Official Records

 

Hdqrs. Army of Northern Virginia,

January 22, 1864

General Orders, No. 7

The commanding general considers it due to the state that the temporary reduction of rations has been caused by circumstances beyond the control of those charged with its support. Its welfare and comfort are the objects of his constant and earnest solicitude, and no effort has been spared to provide for its wants. It is hoped that the exertions now being made will render the necessity but of short duration, but the history of the army has shown that the country can require no sacrifice too great for its patriotic devotion.

Soldiers! You tread with no unequal steps the road by which your fathers marched through suffering, privation and blood to independence. Continue to emulate in the future, as you have in the past, their valor in arms, their patient endurance of hardships, their high resolves to be free, which no trial could shape, no bribes seduce, no danger appal, and be assured that the just God who crowned their efforts with success, will in His own good time send down His blessing upon yours.

R. E. Lee

General

 

Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 33, p. 1117

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 July 28