LEE, ROBERT E., General, C.S.A. Letter signed ("R E Lee General," with flourish) as Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, TO GENERAL GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, COMMANDER OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Richmond, 17 June 1862. 1 page, 4to, on pale blue paper, four small repairs to folds from verso, made with small pieces of tape (repairable), very minor discoloration at folds.
LEE TO McCLELLAN, DURING THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, ON THE TREATMENT OF MEDICAL OFFICERS
A rare letter between commanders of opposing armies, dated less than three weeks after Lee had assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia and one week before the start of the bloody Seven Days' Battles in which Lee successfully repulsed McClellan's advance on Richmond. On 8 June, from New Bridge, McClellan had written Lee regarding arrangements for the exchange of prisoners; Lee replied on the 11th, assuring his Union counterpart that Union wounded in Confederate hospitals would receive the same care as Confederate soldiers (see McClellan, Civil War Papers, ed. Sears, p. 292fn). From the present letter, it would appear that McClellan had written again to Lee (although that letter is not extant), proposing that medical officers attending to the wounded be treated as non-combatants. Lee approves his humane suggestion:
"Your proposition to consider Medical officers in care of the sick & wounded as non-combatants, is concurred in by me; and such officers will be so regarded in the operations of the armies of Northern and Eastern Virginia. I take this occasion to thank you for the unconditional release of Dr. Taylor of the C[onfederate] S[tates'] Army, who was left in attendance upon a sick man at Williamsburg..."
Not in Lee, Wartime Papers, ed. Dowdey & Manarin, and apparently unpublished.