War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0819 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

maintenance of the weak and dependent. The course, therefore adopted by you has the concurrence of my opinion, and while, of course, I can release no obligation the law has imposed, nor relinquish the right, should more favorable circumstances be secured by the ascendency of our arms, of exacting both the service and contributions the law demands, you may expect such sanction as my authority warrants.

Very truly, yours,


Secretary of War.


November 4, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: The application of Colonel Hamilton, of South Carolina, for the transfer o the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, formerly commanded by him, to that State for duty, has been received. If the regiment cold really be recuirted in South Carolina, it might be well to transfer it thither, provided, meantime, a good regiment from that department could be sent to this army to take its place, and thus preserve the integrity of McGowan's brigade, to which it belongs. As to the transfer of troops from the Army of Northern Virginia to the Department of South Carolina at this period, I will make a statement of the facts as I conceive them, and leave it to the Department to decidethe question. Meade is in our front, gradually advancing and repairing the railroad, having already reached Warrenton Junction. His army, consisting of five corps of infantry and three divisions of cavalry, has been re-enforced to some extent since its late retreat on Washington, and is variously estimated at from 60,000 to 80,000 effecive men. To oppose this the Army of Northern Virginia presents an effective total not greatly exceeding that of General Beauregard's army, which has opposed to it, so far as I can learn, one of the enemy which will hardly number more than 20,000 men, exclusive of the naval forces engaged in the attack on Charleston.

I believe the troops of this army have been called upo in winter, spring, and summer to do almost as active service as those of any other deparmtne, and I do not see that the good of the service will be promoted by scattering its brigades and regiments along all the threatened points of the Confederacy. It is only by the concentration of our troops that we can hope to win any decisive advantage.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,



November 4, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of October 30, inclosing a telegram from Major General S. Jones, with regard to the Eight and Fourteenth Virginia Cavalry. Upon reference to Gen-