Tarheels During the Civil War

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

General Lee's Request

While searching through the Official Records for some information on Ramseur's North Carolina brigade, I stumbled upon this request from General Lee to Governor Vance, written June 4 1863.
"Governor: I have the honor to call the attention of Your Excellency to the reduced condition of Brigadier-General Ramseur's brigade. It's ranks have been much thinned by the casualties of the battles in which it has been engaged, in all of which it has rendered conspicuous service. I consider its brigade and regimental commanders as among the best of their respective grades in the army, and in the late battle of Chancellorsville, where the brigade was much distinguished and suffered severely, General Ramseur was among those whose conduct was especially commended to my notice by Lieutenant-General Jackson in a message sent to me after he was wounded. I am very desirous that the efficiency of this brigade should be increased by filling its ranks, and respectfully ask that, if it be in your power, you will send on recruits for its various regiments as soon as possible. If this cannot be done, I would recommend that two additional regiments be sent to it, if they can be had. I am satisfied that the men could be used in no better way to render valuable service to the country and win credit for themselves and for their State.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee
Now my question is, did Lee often mention brigades by name in requesting that a particular units ranks be filled? It seems as Ramseur's brigade was one of the better ones in the army, Lee knew this, and wanted it replenished. It could also be that when he wrote this, he was on the eve of the Gettysburg campaign, and was actively seeking reinforcements from whatever region he could find. This is well known. I just think it interesting that he appreciated and respected the fighting prowess and commanders of the brigade to make a special appeal to have their ranks in particualr filled. As mentioned, I stumbled on this today, and have not searched to find any more references to particular units from Lee.

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