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LEE, ROBERT E., General, C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("R E Lee") as Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Army, TO JEFFERSON DAVIS,"H[ea]d Qu[arters]" [on the Petersburg siege lines], 6 July 1864, 1 page, 4to, on blue lined paper. Fine.

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LEE, ROBERT E., General, C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("R E Lee") as Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Army, TO JEFFERSON DAVIS,"H[ea]d Qu[arters]" [on the Petersburg siege lines], 6 July 1864, 1 page, 4to, on blue lined paper. Fine.

GENERAL LEE COMMUNICATES MILITARY INTELLIGENCE TO PRESIDENT DAVIS

Approximately three weeks before the Petersburg Mine Assault, General Lee reports information about the positions of the Union Army gleaned from a Union prisoner's journal. "As I have felt some anxiety as to position of the 9th Corps from the various aspects concerning it, I directed that the pickets along our lines should be directed to capture a prisoner along their point. Gen[era]l [Ambrose P.] Hill has just come in to report that one from the 2nd Corps was brought into him last night. He was a New Yorker, sharp & shrewd from whom but little could be gained. But he had on his person a diary kept by himself... It was there recorded under the date of the 4th inst[ant] that he had with a comrade passed that day through the 9th & 5th Corps visiting certain friends. This would seem good evidence that the 9th Corps is present before Petersburg..." During the Petersburg siege it was Lee's custom to report frequently by letter to President Davis; interestingly, the present letter is apparently unpublished, while another of the same date appears in C. Dowdey and L. H. Manarin, The Wartime Papers of Robert E. Lee, p. 816. The Petersburg Siege commenced in June of 1864. During the long stalemate, Lee was in great need of accurate military intellignence concerning the positions of the Union forces opposing him; Grant, on the other hand, had plentiful intelligence, gained from Confederate deserters (Boatner, pp. 644-649).
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