War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0861 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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RICHMOND,

December 5, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Orange Court-House:

Could you consistently go to Dalton, as heretofore explained?

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

RICHMOND,

December 5, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Orange Court-House:

The following dispatch has just been sent to commanding officer at Hanover Junction:

Send Hunton's brigade immediately to relieve the local troops at Chaffin's Farm.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 289.

Richmond, Va., December 5, 1863.

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VI. Brigadier General R. B. Vance will proceed with his command to Knoxville, Tenn., and report to Lieutenant General J. Longstreet, commanding, &c., for duty.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

Rapidan, December 7, 1863.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President Confederate States, Richmond:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I have had the honor to receive your dispatch, inquiring whether I could go to Dalton. I can if desired, but of the expediency of the measure you can judge better than I can. Unless it is intended that I should take permanent command, I can see no good that will result, even if in that event any could be accomplished. I also fear that I would not receive cordial co-operation, and I think it necessary if I am withdrawn from here that a commander for this army be sent to it. General Ewell's condition, I fear, is too feeble to undergo the fatigue and labor incident to the position. I hope Your Excellency will not suppose that I am offering any obstacles to any measure you may think necessary. I only seek to give you the opportunity to form your opinion after a full consideration of the subject. I have not that confidence either in my strength or ability as would lead me of my own opinion to undertake the command in question.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.