Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

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In this connection I quote the Rev. J. Wm. Jones in his "PersonalReminiscences of General Robert E. Lee":

"Not long after the close of the war, General Lee received a letterfrom General David Hunter, of the Federal Army, in which he beggedinformation on two points:

"1. His (Hunter's) campaign in the summer of 1864 was undertaken oninformation received at the War Department in Washington that GeneralLee was about to detach forty thousand picked troops to send GeneralJohnston. Did not his (Hunter's) movements prevent this, and relieveSherman to that extent?

"2. When he (Hunter) found it necessary to retreat from beforeLynchburg, did not he adopt the most feasible line of retreat?

"General Lee wrote a very courteous reply, in which he said:

"'The information upon which your campaign was undertaken was erroneous.I had NO TROOPS to spare General Johnston and no intention of sendinghim any--CERTAINLY NOT FORTY THOUSAND, AS THAT WOULD HAVE TAKEN ABOUTALL I HAD.

"'As to the second point--I would say that I am not advised as to themotives which induced you to adopt the line of retreat which you took,and am not, perhaps competent to judge of the question, BUT I CERTAINLYEXPECTED YOU TO RETREAT BY WAY OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY [the emphasisis Dr. Jones's], and was gratified at the time that you preferred theroute through the mountains of the Ohio--leaving the valley open forGeneral Early's advance into Maryland.'"

Before leaving Richmond, my father wrote the following letter toColonel Ordway, then Provost Marshal:

"Richmond, Virginia, June 21, 1865.

"Lt.-Col. Albert Ordway, Provost Marshal, Department of Virginia.

"Colonel: I propose establishing my family next week in CumberlandCounty, Virginia, near Cartersville, on the James River canal. Onannouncing my intention to General Patrick, when he was on duty inRichmond, he stated that no passport for the purpose was necessary.Should there have been any change in the orders of the Departmentrendering passports necessary, I request that I may be furnishedwith them. My son, G. W. Custis Lee, a paroled prisoner with myself,will accompany me. Very respectfully your obedient servant,

"R. E. Lee."


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