HEADQUARTERS, Rutledge, Tennessee, December 7, 1863.
President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:
I have the honor to acknowledge your telegram,4th. For the want of horseshoes and the transportation necessary for foraging the command, I find it necessary to get to some point nearer the railroad. If my command can be more usefully employed in some other part of the country, please order the transportation for it.
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 I also fear that I would not receive cordial co-operation, and I think it necessary if I am withdrawn from here that a commander for this army be sent to it.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 option to under take the command in question.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HDQRS. DEPT. WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EAST TENNESSEE, Dublin, December 7, 1863.
Maj. Gen. ROBERT RANSOM, Jr.,
Bean's Station, via Morristown:
Act with General Longstreet until further orders. If well enough, I will see you in a few days.
ATLANTA, GA., December 7, 1863.
Captain J. B. KING,
Commanding, &c., Roswell, Ga.:
CAPTAIN: I beg, in view of the present condition of our surroundings, to merely call your attention to the importance of great vigilance on your part, covering as you do an important line of approach to Atlanta. We hope that the enemy may be soon driven from Georgia soil, but it behooves us nevertheless to be very watchful.