have not yet removed from the attack I experienced the past spring. I am becoming more and more incapable of exertion, and am thus prevented from making the personal examinations and giving the personal supervision to the operations in the field which I feel to be necessary. I am so dull that in making use of the eyes of others I am frequently misled. Everything, therefore, points to the advantages to be derived from a new commander, and I the more anxiously urge the matter upon Your Excellency from my belief that a younger and abler man than myself can readily be attained. I know that he will have as gallant and brave an army as ever existed to second his efforts, and it would be the happiest day of my life to see at its head a worthy leader - one that would accomplish more than I could perform and all that I have wished. I hope Your Excellency will attribute my request to the true reason, the desire to serve my country, and to do all in my power to insure the success of her righteous cause.
I have no complaints to make of any one but myself. I have received nothing but kindness from those above me, and the most considerate attention from my comrades and companions in arms. To Your Excellency I am specially indebted for uniform kindness and consideration. You have done everything in your power to aid me in the work committed to my charge, without omitting anything to promote the general welfare. I pray that your efforts may at length be crowned with success, and that you may long live to enjoy the thanks of a grateful people.*
With sentiments of great esteem, I am, very respectfully and truly, yours,
R. E. LEE,
WELDON, August 8, 1863.
I have just received a dispatch from Major-General Whiting, commanding me to report to him, and ordering certain dispositions of my troops. Will you please do me the kindness to let me know if this is right, as I am directed both by yourself and General Cooper to report to you.
Yours, very truly,
M. W. RANSOM,
AUGUST 8, 1863.
The Yankee camps can be seven at all of the fords from Kelly's to Waterloo, inclusive; also about Warrenton and Orleans. It is a bad day for observation. A few wagons are seen passing from Rappahannock Station to Kelly's Ford.
*For reply, see VOL. XXIX, Part II, p. 639.
48 R R - VOL LI, PT II