taken advantage of to extricate him from his dilemma under the pretense of defending Washington. We shall, however, see, but we must lose no time in preparing to meet him wherever he may appear. I wrote you on this subject yesterday, and will not repeat. The troops had better march, begginning at once, using the railroad as far as it goes, and as a help to transport the feeble of all the divisions. By the time they reach Hanover Junction we shall probably hear where the new base is assumed. Colonel Northrop must make arheir provisions, and his arrangements must precede the movement of the troops. I beg you will excuse my troubling you with my opinions, and especially these details, but your kindness has led you to receive them without objection so often that I know I am tempted to trespass. I am getting the troops in position near the fords of Somerville Mills and Raccoon Ford of the Rapidan. They have preceded their transportation and the process is slow and tedious. I hope to succeedby to-morrow, all except Anderson's.
With high respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
[11 and 12.]
Orange Court-House, August 22, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States, Richmond:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I have read with attention your letter of the 11th instant,* and am grateful for your kind and partial consideration of my feeble services. I confess I am disppointed at your dtermination, but since you have so directed, I shall not continue the subject, but beg that whenever in your opinion the public service will be advanced, no mater from what cause, that you will act upon the application before you. I am as willing to serve now as in the beginning in any capacity and at any post where I can do good. The lower the position, the more suitable to my ability, and the more agreeable to my feelings. Beyond such assistance as I can give to an invalid wife and three houseless daughters, I have no object in life but to devote myself to the defense of our violated country's rights.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES,
Richmond, April 8, 1864.
General ROBERT E. LEE,
Orange Court-House, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 4th instant. All the evidence we now receive of the movements of the enemy tend to confirm your impression of a concentration in Virginia, and the best efforts of the Government are being used to prepare you for the emergency. The President is keenly alive to the necessity. General Longstreet having fallen back to Virginia, and General Johsnton not having approved the suggestion of a forward movement into Tennessee, by which it was hoped to divert the enemy from his move in this State, our policy necessarily became defensive. However much this
*See VOL. XXIX, Part II, p. 639.