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Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

July 13, 1864


Lieut. Gen. R. S. Ewell,

Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:


General: Your letter of July 11 has been received. I do not desire the local troops to be turned out without further developments of the enemy on the north side of the James. I only wish you to make preparations to hold the defenses near Chaffin’s Bluff with other forces now under your command, so that the two brigades of Wilcox’s division may be in reserve and ready to move to any point of our lines where they may be needed. I hope this can be done without calling out the locals, and that it will be done as soon as practicable.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 40, Part 3, p. 772

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 June 22