cause. I have felt more than ever before the want of your advice during the recept of disaster. You know how one army of the enemy triumphed by attcking three of ours in detail at Vickburg, Port Hudson, and Jackson. General Johnston, after evacuating Jackson, to the east, to the pine woods of Mississippi, and if he has any other plan that of watching the enemy; it has not been communicated [sic]. Pemberton's army commenced deserting to such extent that he was permitted to give forlughs generally for ten, fifteen, and thirty days. He things he will thus secure their efficient services. The siege of Charleston hastens slowly, and General Beauregard calls for re-enforcements and heavy guns. Some of both have been sent, but less of each than he asked for. Demonstrations have been made on the railroad between Wilmington and Petersburg, and General Whiting calls for more troops, specially cavalry. The enemy are reported to be in force again at Suffolk. I think it was the same force that was on the Pamunkey. When Cligman's brigade was sent to Charleston, Colquitt's brigade was sent to Wilmington to replace it. General Whiting, on his own respnsibility, sent two regiments of this brigade to Charleston; now Beauregard asks for the other two, and Whiting wants Clingman's brigade returned to Wilmington. Brigadier-General Ranson was sent from Petersburg to Weldon to meet the force said to be advancing upon that place, and when the report of an avance from Suffolk reached here Brigadier-General Jenkins was sent with his brigade to Petersburg. General Sam. Jones, when about to start to the Valley, was stopped by an advance of the enemy, and a portion of the force he was to take with was retained. The Trans-Mississippi Department must now become maily self-sustaining, and will require the exercise of extraordinary powers by the commander, but how far this extend without involing opposition it is difficult to foresee. To secure efficiency there must be greater promptitude than is attainable if papers are to be sent here by resent available routes; yet this war can only be successfully procecuted while we have condial support of the people, and this is best secured by close adherence to law and usage. Misfortune often develops secret foes, and oftener still makes men complain. It is comfortable to hold some one responsible for one's descomfort. In various quarters there are mutterings of discontent, and threats of alienation are said to exit, with preparation for organized opposition. There are others who, faitful but dissatisfied, find an appropriate remedy in the removal of officers who have not succeeded. They have not counted the most of following their advice. Their remedy, to be good, should furnish substitutes who would be better than the officers displaced. If a victim would secure the success of our cause I would freedy offer myself, and there are many of those most assailed who would, I am sure, contend for the place, if their sarcifice could bring such reward.
With prayers for your health, safety, and happiness, I am, as ever, your friend,
Richmond, Va., July 29, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: My letter to you of 23rd had reference especially to the salt-meat ration; generally to all supplies of subsistence needed by an army. Requesting that you would refer to that letter in this latter