War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0793 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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and as General Early is now in the lower Valley it may deter any operations against the railroad. You can, therefore, suspend any movements for the present. If you think it better to send a brigade from either of the other divisions I will direct it to be held in readiness.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

PETERSBURG, July 23, 1864.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I have had the honor to receive your letter of yesterday relative to our supply of corn. If the news of the glorious victory at Atlanta, reported this morning, prove true, it will again open to us Alabama and East Mississippi, and remove a part of the great weight pressing upon us. But as far as I am informed there is still a large supply of corn in East Georgia, and with what could be collected in South and North Carolina there would be enough to support us till the new crop is available. That which is now in Richmond should be reserved if possible, and every effort made to increase the supply. The destruction of the railroad bridges beyond Greensborough is a serious evil. I understand it was done by incendiaries, which makes it more lamentable. Those bridges will therefore have to be guarded by the reserves, like those exposed to the enemy. The trains arrived last night from Weldon, but only brought sufficient corn for the cavalry. That was some relief, but obliges us still to diminish our reserve.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

PETERSBURG, July 23, 1864.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 22nd instant inclosing a memorandum of information obtained of the probable movements of General Grant's army. I am aware of the ease with which the troops sent for the protection of Washington can be returned to this point. I, however, think it very doubtful whether President Lincoln will permit this to be done as long as General Early is so close-to the Potomac. Should he be able to obtain a large militia or volunteer force on the north bank of the Potomac, it might be hazarded, but I have not discerned any alacrity exhibited by such troops to take the field. General Early supposed the force which engaged him on the 18th at the Shenandoah to be composed of the Sixth Corps, Hunter's troops, and two divisions of the Nineteenth Corps. I had previously heard of the arrival in Washington of the latter corps from New Orleans, and that it was originally destined for Grant's army, but was diverted to meet that emergency. Its presence in Washington is confirmed by the inclosed letter,* which seems to be from Mr. Baxter, member of Congress from Vermont. I have written to General Early to inquire what has become of the force he drove across the Shenandoah, and to say that if he cannot detain it on that frontier, it will be necessary for him to return. I have thought much upon the subject of intercepting the enemy's communications on James River, and have written

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*Not found.

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