HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 11, 1864 - 6.30 p. m.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR,
SIR: The enemy has been quiet to-day, with the usual skirmishing along the lines.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS TEXAS BRIGADE,
June 11, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:
GENERAL: A short time ago I took the liberty of submitting a paper concerning an increase of the numbers of the Texas Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia. Since that paper was written circumstances have so changed that it is not probable my proposition can be favorably considered. The proposition that was made was submitted upon a suggestion from the general commanding the army, that he desired me to use every effort to have the numbers of the brigade increased. It is now desired to submit a different proposition. Since the late battles, the number of muskets in this brigade is about 430; at our last field return it was 435. This is a very small number to perform the duties of a brigade, nor do I think it for the benefit of the service that an officer having the rank and pay of a brigadier-general be assigned to the command of so small a number of muskets. There are men of this brigade beyond the Mississippi River, but as many efforts have been made to procure their return to duty, and have all failed to effect the end desired, it is believed to be impracticable to secure their presence with this command except by having an organized force brought to this side of the Mississippi River under whose guard these absentees can be forced to return. The number of men fit for duty who are beyond the river and belong to this brigade is thought to be larger than the number present.
In addition to this it is thought to be for the interest of the service that a considerable force of the trans-Mississippi troops be brought to this army. It is not probable that the enemy will be formidable beyond the Mississippi until they accomplish such results here as are satisfactory to them. In the mean time the troops beyond the river are not so valuable as they would be here, and it is for the army here to prevent the future war on the other side of the river. Having the opinion just stated, I propose to bring to this side of the Mississippi, if authorized by the War Department, such a force as it is thought may be properly spared from beyond the Mississippi River. I further propose to bring such number of horses as may be needed here and can be procured beyond the river. It is suggested that in a march across the country many unbroken horses, which can be procured much more easily than gentle ones, might be well broken. I respectfully suggest for the decision of the authorities.