Coregonas wrote:[font="Comic Sans MS"]
From: Jefferson Davis, President
To: General Robert E. Lee
Although advance onto enemy positions could result in an extremely succesful adventure, we believe we must wait a few days more, in order to fully reorganize the new divisions.
Also, it should be better not to distract the brigade to second line. If it is to be assaulted by a division sized troop, we are not sure if be able to resist the attack unproperly commanded.
In case an assault is going on the city, we could counterattack directly with a well rested and organized corps. So thats the main reason we believe attack is to be cancelled.
About Jackson troops.
Instead of using it for reconnaisance purposes, 1st Virginia Cavalry Brigade should depart to richmond, so some of the newly raised cavalry conscript regiments could be attached to them. This unit could be used in forming a cavalry division once troops enough available.
Your humble servant
[font="Courier New"]Mr. President,
I am elated at your desire to discuss issues in the field. Such is the reason I asked for your council. However on some points I must respectfully disagree Mr. President. I would contend that an immediate defense of Fredricksburg be placed high among our current priorities. While my original plan to attack and subsequently consolidate our defensive front at Alexandria, pressuring the enemy capitol, would in my mind potentially forstall any attack on Fredricksburg, I am willing to compromise.
I would be willing to cancel the attack in Alexandria by Homles Corps in exchange for sending a full division to protect Fredricksburg and moving Holmes corps to Manassas to reinforce and reorganize. I am sure that an attack at Fredricksburg is only weeks away and I am of the opinion that prevention would be far better than reaction in that case. All we would have left in position to counter the threat would be Beauregard and Holmes, whose combined strength would even still be hard pressed to dislodge an entrenched enemy across the river. While removing a division from Holmes Corps will leave him in a weaker position, I believe it is also agreed that the enemy presently seems to have no designs upon advancing on Richmond from the North.
I would like to offer a compromise....to detach Magruder's division from Holmes' Corps and send it to reinforce the defenses around Fredricksburg. Should the town fall, Beauregard's supply route back to Richmond and the deep south with be under direct threat, not to mention the road to Richmond will be left wide open for the enemy....this is something that should be PREVENTED at all cost.
Regarding the Cavalry. I see no justification of stripping Jackson's command of a reliable screening, scouting, raiding and fast reaction force at this time. Understanding what forces face us across the Potomac, especially near Jackson's line, would be of the utmost importance in my mind Mr. President.
If there is nothing to be gained by keeping the 1st Virginia Cavalry in Harper's Ferry to both oppose the federal cavalry stationed to the north, or to reconnointer Hooker's position in Frederick, MD I would be glad to know how.
Also I am unaware of a man fit to lead a cavalry division at this time...I would ask that you correct my judgement on that point as my memory of those I meet many times fails me. Perhaps I have not heard of a man fit for such a command despite his existence.
In summation, I do not believe the current campaign season to be the appropriate time to take valuable forces from our commands at the front in order to form future commands in the rear. I believe once winter sets in, the time to form new commands in our rear areas will be more than appropriate, but at this time, sending front line units to sit idol for several weeks in our capitol forming divisions instead of operating against the enemy, is in my opinion, an unwise course of action. I would be happy to appease the administration, however, by sending our current raid-reaction forces in Central and Western Virginia to Richmond for the formation of a small cavalry division. I ernestly hope this compromise proposal would satisfy your request. I would also ask for rebutal to my arguments should there be points which I have overlooked.
I sincerely appreciate your input and would ask only for a respectable debate on the issue, for it is understood, especially by me, that the authority of Richmond be recognized...however in matters of military relevance I would expect the administration to be prepared to receive rebutals from her respected Generals from time to time.
Again thank you for your response...I would appreciate your thoughts after reading this dispach.
Your Humble Servant,
General Robert E. Lee
Eastern Department of the Confederacy[/font]