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Camp at Meadow Bluff, Virginia,

September 21, 1861

General Henry A, Wise,

Wise’s Legion, Camp on Big Sewell, Virginia:


I have just arrived at this camp, and regret to find the forces not united. I know nothing of the relative advantages of the points occupied by yourself and General Floyd, but as far as I can judge our united forces are not more than one-half of the strength of the enemy. Together they may not be able to stand his assault. It would be the height of imprudence to submit them separately to his attack. I am told by General Floyd your position is a very strong one. This one I have not examined, but it seems to have the advantage of yours, in commanding the Wilderness road and the approach to Lewisburg, which I think is the aim of General Rosecrans. I beg therefore, if not too late, that the troops be united, and that we conquer or die together. You have spoken to me of want of consultation and concert; let that pass till the enemy is driven back, and then, as far as I can, all shall be arranged. I expect this of your magnanimity. Consult that and the interest of our cause, and all will go well.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

RE Lee,

General, Commanding




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 5, p. 868

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 December 5