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Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

November 25, 1862


Brig. Gen. R. A. Pryor, Richmond, Va:

General: Your letter of the 23d instant has just been received. I regret my inability to detach from this army the two regiments you desire to constitute a brigade, to operate on the Blackwater, under your command. As far as I am able to judge, troops are more wanted here than there, and it might be better to bring the troops which it is contemplated to unite with those in question to this army. I regretted, at the time, the breaking up of your former brigade, but you are aware that the circumstances which produced it were beyond my control. The Sixty-first Virginia has, in accordance with the desire of the colonel and regiment, been attached to Mahone’s brigade, which was organized from the section of country from which it came. I hope it will not be long before you will be again in the field, that the country may derive the benefit of your zeal and activity. I thought, and still think, that your services would be more valuable to the country south of James River, after your brigade was dismembered, and that troops could be organized in that region sufficient to form your command.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, p. 1032

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 4