d Qrs ANVA," [Petersburg, VA], 21 September 1864. 31 words plus date, on the verso of an ALS of Brigadier General John Echols to General Samuel Cooper, Dublin, VA., 12 September 1864 (1 p., 4to), minor browning affects several letters of Lee's endorsement, framed. " /> [CIVIL WAR]. LEE, Robert E. Autograph endorsement signed ("R E Lee"), also endorsed by Confederate Secretary of War, James A. Seddon ("JAS"), "H<V>d Q<V>r<V>s ANVA," [Petersburg, VA], 21 September 1864. <I>31 words plus date, on the verso of an ALS of Brigadier General John Echols to General Samuel Cooper, Dublin, VA., 12 September 1864 (1 p., 4to), minor browning affects several letters of Lee's endorsement, framed</I>. | Christie's
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    Sale 1246

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana

    New York

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    17 June 2003

  • Lot 57

    [CIVIL WAR]. LEE, Robert E. Autograph endorsement signed (''R E Lee''), also endorsed by Confederate Secretary of War, James A. Seddon (''JAS''), ''Hd Qrs ANVA,'' [Petersburg, VA], 21 September 1864. 31 words plus date, on the verso of an ALS of Brigadier General John Echols to General Samuel Cooper, Dublin, VA., 12 September 1864 (1 p., 4to), minor browning affects several letters of Lee's endorsement, framed.

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    [CIVIL WAR]. LEE, Robert E. Autograph endorsement signed ("R E Lee"), also endorsed by Confederate Secretary of War, James A. Seddon ("JAS"), "Hd Qrs ANVA," [Petersburg, VA], 21 September 1864. 31 words plus date, on the verso of an ALS of Brigadier General John Echols to General Samuel Cooper, Dublin, VA., 12 September 1864 (1 p., 4to), minor browning affects several letters of Lee's endorsement, framed.

    "I DO NOT KNOW WHERE REINFORCEMENTS...ARE TO COME FROM": A BELEAGURED LEE CONFRONTS THE SOUTH'S MANPOWER CRISIS

    Three years of bloody warfare had exacted substantial casualties upon a Confederacy which had a limited population base from which to draw replacements. By the Spring of 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant was fully aware of the South's crisis and adopted a strategy of attrition. By launching several Union offensives on fronts throughout the South and forcing Confederate armies to fight open battles in which they were outnumbered, Grant hoped to grind his enemy into submission. Robert E. Lee had little choice but to confront his foe as its armies drove towards Richmond, resulting in the costly battles Grant desired. At the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, Lee lost over 60,000 men. In June, his ragged and tired army was forced into trenches around Petersburg. As reinforcements were pumped into Grant's army, Lee faced dwindling numbers and thinning defensive lines.

    While Lee was desperately holding the trenches around Petersburg, Echols, commander of the District of Southwest Virginia, reports Union offensive operations in Eastern Tennessee: "The enemy are evidently making preparations to advance in force in East Tennessee." He notes "the importance...a defence of the extreme South Western portions of this district" and acknowledges that a proper defense cannot be made "unless the force in the Department is increased." The letter was forwarded to the Confederate War Department where Seddon writes on the verso "I know no reinforcements available, unless the reserves can be collected. Refer to Genl Lee for his consideration." Confronting his own inability to gather significant reinforcements for the continued defense of Petersburg, Lee responds: "I do not know where reinforcements for Gen E are to come from. He should exert himself to bring out the reserves & get back all absentees from his army."

    Ultimately Grant's strategy of attrition proved decisive as Lee's severely weakened army was finally driven out of the trenches of Petersburg in April, 1865, surrendering one week later at Appomattox Courthouse.

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