Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

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Introduction

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pp. v-xiv

...Virginia, under the leadership of General Robert E. Lee, and the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, under General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, for the most part took care of themselves, and only came to the...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

...Rice University has sheltered and sponsored the Davis project for more than three decades, supplying vital university services and offices in a major research library. Recently the university has also provided additional in-kind support...

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Editorial Staff

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pp. xix-xxii

...Lynda Lasswell Crist, Editor Mary Seaton Dix, Coeditor Kenneth H. Williams, Assistant...

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Editorial Method

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pp. xxiii-xxviii

...Items composed by Davis are given preference for publication with annotation, particularly those documents that illuminate his opinions, philosophy, and personal relationships. Special consideration is given to letters, speeches, and documents...

Symbols and Abbreviations

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pp. xxix-xxxii

Repository Symbols

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pp. xxxiii-xxxiv

Contents

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pp. xxxv-xxxviii

Illustrations

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pp. xxxix-xl

Chronology, January–September 1863

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pp. xli-xliv

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The Papers of Jefferson Davis Annotated Documents 1863

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pp. 1-3

...shall follow him. Gen Wheeler with his Cavalry made a complete circuit of their army, on the 30 & 31st captured & destroyed 300 wagons loaded with Baggage & commissary stores, paroled 700 Prisoners, he is again behind them and captured an Ordnance...

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From Joseph E. Johnston . . . January 2

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pp. 4-7

...line of Twelve Miles, to Snyder's Mill, probably requires them all. I fear difficulty in subsisting them, however. A report just handed in by the inspecting officers shows that the supply of provision...

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Speech at Raleigh . . . January 3

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pp. 7-10

...January 3. Accompanied by William Lowndes Yancey, Davis reached Raleigh on the five o'clock train from Charlotte. "An unusually large concourse of people were present to greet him," and he spoke for some twenty minutes after being introduced by Daniel...

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Speech at Richmond . . . January 5

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pp. 10-19

...through Petersburg, where he met "an enthusiastic reception" on January 4 from 1,000-1,500 citizens and soldiers. He spoke briefly and was cheered repeatedly before the train...

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From Joseph E.Johnston . . . (January 10–31)

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pp. 19-23

...The distance between the two theatres of operation, and the different objects of the two armies in my command make it impossible for me to exercise any general control. I must either take the immediate direction of one of these armies...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . January 13

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pp. 23-28

...Burnside, but nothing sufficiently definite to designate it if true—Rumors are abundant, but whether it is intended to retire, advance or transfer it elsewhere I cannot...

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From Braxton Bragg . . . January 17

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pp. 28-36

...I deem it advisable to send you a confidential Staff Officer as the bearer of a note in which reference will be made to matters that would not properly come within the scope of an official report, in order that you may be enabled to inform...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . January 22

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pp. 36-39

...I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 19th. covering correspondence with Genl. Halleck, and am pleased at the manner in which you presented the matter which had been submitted to you in connection with the...

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To John Handy . . . January 25

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pp. 39-42

...I have the honor to acknowledge your's of the 9th Inst. and to reply: that my wish was and is to annul the proposed contract, and I asked Genl. Davis to say to you that if the party offering to rent would not willingly terminate the matter...

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To Theophilus H. Holmes . . . January 28

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pp. 42-48

...to acknowledge yours of the 29th. ult. Since that date, I have heard nothing more of the reported advance of the enemy upon Van Buren, and trust it may have been checked...

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From Joseph E. Johnston . . . February 3

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pp. 48-55

...Your telegram ordering me to General Bragg's Hd Qrs was received in Mobile when I was on my way to them. Your letter of Jany. 22d reached me here on the 30th...

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On G. W. Smith's Resignation . . . February 10

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pp. 55-58

...sole desire be to aid in the achievement of our independence it might have been expected the less importance would be attached to provisional rank As this letter is addressed to a former Secty of War, and refers to matters with which the present...

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From Joseph E.Johnston . . . February 12

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pp. 59-66

...Since writing to you on the 3d I have seen the whole army. Its appearance is very encouraging — & gives positive evidence of General Bragg's capacity to command. It is well clothed, healthy & in fine spirits...

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To Joseph E. Johnston . . . February 19

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pp. 66-74

...that the confidence of the superior officers in Genl. Bragg's fitness for command has been so much impaired. It is scarcely possible in that state of the case for him to possess the requisite confidence of the troops. However truly it may...

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To Theophilus H. Holmes . . . February 26

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pp. 74-78

...ability to correct it. When I possessed the power to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus, I sent you the requisite authority, and, with the camp regulations which you had power to establish, hoped it would avail somewhat to repress the violent...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . February 26

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pp. 78-85

...& that you were again able to take the open air— I hope you will now soon gain your strength & be long preserved to the Republic. I have for some time been doubtful of the intentions...

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From Joseph E. Johnston . . . March 2

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pp. 86-92

...equal to him in all respects-especially now, when the season of active operations is so near that the successor might not be allowed time to learn well the theatre of operations before the enemy's attack...

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From Guy M. Bryan . . . March 9

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pp. 93-106

...There is a growing feeling of discontent among the people at what is regarded as "the unwarrented exercise of powers by the military authorities, & the unwise & illegal interference of the same with the rights of the citizen & civil authorities...

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From Robert Ould . . . March 20

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pp. 106-110

...liberated from prison, and was on parole not to leave the State of Illinois. I have already twice brought the Judge's case to the attention of the Federal Agent...

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On Partisan Warfare . . . March 21

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pp. 110-117

...such distinctness as would seem to have been practicable, and he presents by his showing a defense to which he cannot be entitled. When the river's banks are marked by burned houses and devastated estates, it is mockery to proclaim a purpose...

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From Leonidas Polk . . . March 30

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pp. 118-122

...My views in regard to the condition of things here are matured and clear. He informs me he finds them to be such as are entertained in the other corps. They are those I expressed to you in a letter I addressed to you some time since enclosing a copy...

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To William M. Brooks . . . April 2

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pp. 122-127

...reached me in due course; and has received careful attention. Your friendly assurance of the extent to which I am honored by the confidence and esteem of my fellow-citizens is a source of sincere gratification, the more acceptable...

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From Varina Howell Davis . . . [April 5]

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pp. 127-130

...condition is still very uncertain, and that he thinks the great agitation she evinces at the mention of my going very injurious, and he thinks she will not be able to be left before she could go with me — which will be the end of the coming week...

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From Theophilus H. Holmes . . . April 8

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pp. 130-134

...There are no longer any disloyal organizations to be heard off The Deserters are rapidly coming in There are no Federals in Ark except at Helena and a Regt. at Fayetteville...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . April 9

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pp. 134-136

...by Col. Ives was reed, the day before yesterday at Jackson where I had gone principally for the purpose of seeing Genl Pemberton hoping he could spare on of the steam boats now in the big black...

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From Joseph E. Johnston . . . April 10

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pp. 137-141

...not then be sent to Richmond as he had ordered — on account of the critical condition of Mrs. Bragg. Being unwell then, I afterwards became sick - & am not now able to serve in the field. General Bragg is therefore necessary here. If conference with...

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From John Milton . . . April 15

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pp. 142-151

...I did not convene the General Assembly of this State in Extra Session, to enact a law or laws, to regulate the planting of Cotton Crops, as was suggested by Govr Brown of Georgia, although requested by respectable citizens in several...

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From David Hunter . . . April 23

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pp. 152-154

...yellow. Several negroes in the employ of the Government, in the Western Department, have been cruelly murdered by your authorities, and others sold into slavery. Every outrage of this kind against the laws of...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . April 27

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pp. 154-163

...I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 23rd inst:1 I have been much distressed at receiving accounts from time to time of your indisposition I hope from the tenor of your...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . May 3

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pp. 163-166

...to the rear of the enemy and drove him from all his positions from the Wilderness to within one mile of Chancellorsville. He was engaged at the same time in front by 2 of Longstreet's Divisions...

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To Joseph E. Davis . . . May 7

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pp. 166-169

...to write to you. I have not heard from you since the present invasion of our section commenced and infer that the known confusion in the mails is the cause of it. You can realize how deeply...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . May 7

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pp. 169-171

...I hardly think it necessary to state to your Excellency that unless we can increase the Cavalry attached to this army we shall constantly be subjected to aggressive expeditions of the enemy...

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To E. Kirby Smith . . . May 8

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pp. 171-173

...The departure of the Hon R. W. Johnson affords a safe opportunity for writing to you, of which I avail myself. The communication with the Trans-Mississippi Department...

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To James Whitfield, Robert Paine, James T. Harrison, and William A. Sykes . . . May 8

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pp. 173-177

...I have duly reflected on the important matters presented by you in our interview and have carefully considered the letters submitted by you at the same time: towit: the letter addressed...

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To William M. Browne . . . May 10

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pp. 177-189

...representing that the trade now being carried on at the port of Wilmington has been seriously perverted and abused so as to screen illicit dealing with the United States; the introduction contrary...

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To Joseph E. Johnston . . . May 24

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pp. 189-191

...for Jackson. Arriving there on the 13th, he wired Richmond that he found "the enemy's force between this place and General Pemberton, cutting off the communication. I am too late." The next day Johnston...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . May 26

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pp. 191-195

...that, to some extent, your views as contained in the letter of the 20th. were misapprehended. I inferred from the first letter that you considered Heth by seniority and equal merit the preferred candidate...

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To William Lowndes Yancey . . . May 26

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pp. 195-199

...In the last you inform me that you had learned after writing the first that I entertained personal enmity towards you. Will you have the goodness to inform me how you acquired that information...

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To Joseph E. Davis . . . May 31

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pp. 200-201

...to write to you. It has been to me a constant source of deep anxiety to know that you were exposed to the malignant outrages of the cruel foe with whom we are at war. No effort was spared by me to prevent an...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . May 31

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pp. 201-207

...I had never fairly comprehended your views and purposes until the receipt of your letter of yesterday, and now have to regret that I did not earlier know all that you had communicated to others. I could hardly have misunderstood you, and...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . June 7

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pp. 208-216

...On the afternoon of Friday the 5th inst the enemy made open preparations to cross the Rappahannock at the old position at the mouth of Deep Run. After driving back our sharpshooters...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . June 14

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pp. 216-220

...better, but small as the interest is, it is to us important After the burning of your house and appurtances, /corn &c &c/ the family moved and are now here that is Eliza is here Leize at present with...

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From E. Kirby Smith . . . June 16

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pp. 220-225

...My letter of the 9th. to Gen Cooper gives the disposition of the troops in the Dept at that time, any changes since made can be explained by Coin Ives, who is also furnished with a return made from...

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To Braxton Bragg . . . June 17

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pp. 225-227

...General Johnston in telegrams of 15th & 16th. repeats the expression of his opinion that he cannot under existing circumstances advantageously command both in Mississippi & Tennessee; and in referring...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . June 17

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pp. 227-233

...to Jackson- I wrote you under feelings of deep depression from the condition of our Army V.B— still hold out but there is a point when resistance must be overcome. Genl. — has industry...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . June 21

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pp. 233-236

...the greatly superior force of the enemy, and no certainty of reinforcements, has produced a feeling of alarm, & flight is on the countenance of most that you meet; and the prospect of the country east is but little better Mr. Dickson...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . June 23

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pp. 236-240

...further than it may be connected with the movements just referred to. At this distance, I can see no benefit to be derived from maintaining a large force on the Southern...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . June 25

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pp. 240-242

...C. R. Dickson has just come in and says he has engaged a man and he will be at my house tomorrow for directions. I have had free and confidential communications with Genl Johnson...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . June 25

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pp. 243-246

...a matter in which our enemies have an advantage over us. Although we may have more prisoners than they, theirs are maintained at less expense than ours, moreover our citizens are much more accessible to them than...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . June 28

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pp. 247-255

...The hopes indulged as to our operations at the time which would intervene between the discharge of the Enemy's trained troops and the substitution of them by others have been disappointed by the very error...

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From A. Dudley Mann . . . July 3

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pp. 256-259

...One of the most beautiful writers in the English language says: — "That which Heaven permits perhaps it doth ordain, and sorrow then is sinful." In the loss of valuable life, in the afflictions which we have...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . July 4

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pp. 259-263

...corps under Gen Ewell pushed on to Carlisle and York, passing through Chambersburg. The other two corps closed up at the latter place, and soon afterwards intelligence was...

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To Joseph E. Johnston . . . July 8

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pp. 302-303

...Hudson I have to request such information in relation thereto as the Government has a right to expect from one of its commanding Generals in the field...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . July 8

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pp. 266-272

...From information gathered from the papers, I believe that the troops from N Carolina and the coast of Va under Generals Foster & Dix have been ordered to the Potomac, and...

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From Braxton Bragg . . . July 13

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pp. 272-275

...I feel great hesitation in expressing any opinion in favor of extending my own command over that of another, but I cannot hesitate to say to you - that I have ever felt since my return from Kentucky the necessity for a common superior...

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To Robert W. Johnson . . . July 14

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pp. 276-286

...proportion as our difficulties increase, so must we all cling together, judge charitably of each other, and strive to bear, and forbear, however great may be the sacrifice, and bitter the trial It is not for man to command...

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To Eliza Cannon Cannon . . . July 18

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pp. 286-289

...The visit of Govr. Whitfield affords me a safe opportunity to send to you a letter of acknowledgement for your beautiful and most prized present of a Bible. In this copy of the book of life I have found the...

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To Reuben Davis . . . July 20

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pp. 290-294

...I concur generally in your postulates and it is only necessary to compare views on the means which are available for the execution of the purposes alike desired by us both. We will assume that Congress would...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . July 21

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pp. 294-298

...If however it be approximately as great as stated it will I suppose involve reorganization. Where companies have been reduced to squads and regiments to little more than companies without any immediate prospect...

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From Robert E. Melvin . . . July 22

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pp. 298-307

...The greatest loss of Davis' personal property occurred on July 11-12. A slave led Federal troops to Owen B. Cox's home near Clinton, Mississippi, where Joseph E. Davis had hidden family possessions from Brierfield...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . July 28

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pp. 307-313

...and will continue to be made to send up the convalescents and absentees from your army, and I am well disposed in regard to your suggestion for a general amnesty. Your remarks in relation to the service of enrolment impress me as likely to lead to improvement...

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From John C. Pemberton . . . July 29

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pp. 313-317

...I succeeded this morning in obtaining a copy of the Charleston Mercury to which your telegram of the 27'. invited my attention. I have read with care the article referred to; it is, as the signature indicates intended...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . August 2

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pp. 317-323

...army, and to enrol all who owe service and have heretofore been improperly omitted. Special attention was called to the large number of men employed at depots &c. Convalescents are...

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From William L. Brandon . . . August 8

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pp. 323-326

...of Philadelphia, has been very successful, as I am informed, has not failing in one instance. If I succeed in getting a substitute, with which I can mount, & dismount my Horse, without assistance, I will at once report for duty...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . August 8

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pp. 326-329

...a leisure hour to reply, but I fear that will never come. I am extremely obliged to you for the attention given to the wants of this Army & the efforts made to supply them. Our absentees...

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From Colin J. McRae . . . August 8

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pp. 329-333

...of suggesting a plan by which the finances of the country might be greatly improved I am satisfied that the plan proposed would have the desired effect- At present about 15 000 Bales of cotton leaves the...

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To John C. Pemberton . . . August 9

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pp. 333-336

...handed to me yours of the 29th. ult., and I intended to reply by the same medium; but he left sooner than I expected, and I must adopt the less safe channel of the public mail...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . August 11

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pp. 337-339

...has been nothing which I have found to require a greater effort of patience than to bear the criticisms of the ignorant, who pronounce everything a failure which does...

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From Leonidas N. Walthall . . . August 11

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pp. 339-344

...can scarcely hope that you will remember me, I venture to write to you on publick affairs. A gloom over spreads our Land unequaled since the Formation of our Government...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . August 15

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pp. 344-350

...The negroes told Jim that the Yankees told Ben that they knew he had a large amount of money of yours & mine that he must produce and as he could not they carried him off after taking what he had of his own I have little confidence in any of them even...

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To Zebulon B. Vance . . . August 22

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pp. 351-356

...I send you herewith a sheet of the New York Herald which has been brought to my attention containing allusions to a recent article of the Raleigh Standard...

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To James M. Howry . . . August 27

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pp. 357-363

...me a few days ago. I am glad to have received such full information as to your views concerning the affairs of the country, and shall always be gratified to hear from you...

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To John Milton . . . September 1

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pp. 363-366

...Your letter of the 23d of May, giving reasons why overseers of slaves in Florida should be exempted from liability to military service, reached me by due course of mail, and should have been...

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To William Preston Johnston . . . September 3

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pp. 366-371

...Districts or posts you may visit so as to inform yourself accurately of their condition & purposes; & to the Generals whom you are instructed to visit you will please offer from me the following...

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From E. Kirby Smith . . . September 5

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pp. 371-377

...I have the honor to enclose you a copy of my letter to Mr Slidell, our commissioner in Paris. The condition of our affairs West of the Mississippi I believe warranted the step, and Mr Slidell may find the facts...

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From Joseph E. Davis . . . September 9

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pp. 377-385

...The writing desks only one of them could be found at the time, /of removal from Brierfield/ and Betsey Young told Jo Van Benthuysen that one your desks had /been/ taken out of the house Eliza still hopes it might have been packed with the books in...

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From Robert E. Lee . . . September 14

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pp. 385-387

...and as far as I can judge is the advance of Gen Meade's Army. All the cavalry have been withdrawn from the lower Rappahannock except some reduced pickets from Richards...

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To Zebulon B. Vance . . . September 15

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pp. 388-390

...Your two communications of the llth. Inst: have been received. Upon the receipt of your telegram informing me that the measures taken to put an end to the disturbances in Raleigh had not proved...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . September 16

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pp. 390-397

...Your two letters of the 14th. have been reed. In relation to the guns of Genl. Longstreet's Corps, I had taken the same view which you present., and upon inquiry have learned that a supply of arty, horses were...

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To Robert E. Lee . . . September 21

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pp. 397-404

...difficult to make the needful provision against it. The division sent here was numerically not equal to the two brigades taken away, and the necessities of Genl. S. Jones caused...

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From Braxton Bragg . . . September 25

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pp. 404-411

...We pushed the enemy to his entrenchments at Chattanooga, and have possession of the rail road and direct dirt road this side of the river to his depot at Bridgeport. He can only supply...

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From E. Kirby Smith . . . September 28

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pp. 412-416

...convinced you they were eminently critical—events as they crowd upon us are fast realizing my worst anticipations— The despondency of our people, their listlessness, their deafness to the call of both...

Addenda, 1845–62

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pp. 417-420

Sources

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pp. 421-448

Index

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pp. 449-498