LT: December 13, 1864 Robert E. Lee



in Lee Robert E.

No. 172.



Petersburg, Dec. 13/64.

Hon. J. A. Seddon,

While Genl. Warren was before Belfield(1) the enemy moved up the Roanoke against Fort Branch and from Newbern against Kinston. Both parties retired before the forces sent against them. All is quiet in that District.

(Signed) R. E. Lee

     Resp. submitted for the information of the President.

James A. Seddon
Secretary of War Dec. 14/64.

Genl. Lee to Sec. War.
Dec. 13/64.
Dec. 14/64.1,2


Douglas Southall Freeman’s Notes:

(1) These movements were incidental to what is known in the Federal reports as the “Hicksford raid,” the details of which will be found in O. R., 42, 1. Lee’s loss was “slight” and only “about six miles” of the Weldon railroad track was “broken up” (see Lee’s telegram of Dec. 13, 1864, O. R., op. cit., 3, 1271).



  1. Editor’s Note: Many Confederate records from 1864 were lost during Lee’s retreat from Richmond and Petersburg.  As a result, many useful primary sources from the Confederate side are simply never going to be available.  What might be less well known is that not all of Robert E. Lee’s known writings from the time of the Petersburg Campaign were put into the Official Records.  In 1915, some of Lee’s previously unpublished letters and dispatches to Jefferson Davis and the War Department were published in Lee’s Dispatches: Unpublished Letters of General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A., to Jefferson Davis and the War Department of the Confederate States of America, 1862-65. These letters and dispatches came from the private collection of Wymberley Jones De Renne of Wormsloe, Georgia.   Many of these letters and telegrams contain insight into the Siege of Petersburg, and will appear here 150 years to the day after they were written by Lee.  The numbering system used in the book will also be utilized here, but some numbers may be missing because the corresponding letter or dispatch does not pertain directly to the Siege of Petersburg.
  2. Freeman, Douglas Southall (ed.). Lee’s Dispatches: Unpublished Letters of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. A. to Jefferson Davis and the War Department of the Confederate States of America 1862-65. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1915, pp. 306-307


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