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Richmond 12 Decr ’63




1.      I am Kept here, awaiting Some information from the S.W. I do not Know how long before a decision is Come to, I therefore wish you to send me the recommendations for [Anl?][1] promotions, though I do not know that anything Can be done. Ask Stuart to keep a good lookout of movements & intentions of enemy. There are various reports of 11th & 12th Corps being recalled. Grants being ordered to replace Meade &c. Their army of Cumberland is certainly falling back behind the Tennessee & Columns of troops are said to be moving from Chattanooga to Nashville.

2.      I send a letter to Genl Halleck, which I wish forwd by flag of truce on Monday. Have copy put in book. I also send acknowledgements to Genl Meade.

3.      Say to Major Venable[2] that if he desires he can go home at this time.  He mentioned his wish to go before Xmas.

4.      Not Knowing whether Genl Chilton[3] has come down as was talked of. I address you

5.      Perry Mason is on a visit to his Sweetheart & wants to sleep once more with his old Pard

6.      All yours are well. So says Col: T.

7.      Remember me to every body

Very truly,

R E Lee


Major W. H. Taylor


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.306, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 October 21




[1] Illegible, but might be an abbreviation for “additional.”

[2] Charles S. Venable was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1827. He joined the staff of Robert E. Lee in the spring of 1862. He was eventually promoted to lieutenant colonel. After the war, he worked as a professor at University of Virginia.

[3] Robert Hall Chilton (1815-1879), was an officer in the United States army before becoming a brigadier general in the Confederate army. He served as the Chief of Staff in the Army of Northern Virginia. After the battle of Gettysburg, he served as Inspector General, stationed in Richmond. He led troops in battle in May of 1864 and was successful in breaking up a Union attack on the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad. After the war, he moved to Georgia, where he worked at a manufacturing company. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.