Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 28, 1863 (Monday): Davis Misunderstands Lee

Modern Site of Cheat River Bridge (

March 28, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
    General W. E. Jones reports the Ninth Corps (Burnside's) started west last Sunday by the Pennsylvania Central and Baltimore and Ohio Railroads, supposed for Kentucky. I have inquired of General Longstreet.

     R. E. LEE,



    Why inquire of General Longstreet? This may be an error in dispatch, or it may be a suggestion of that which is to my mind indicated-the movements of Longstreet to re-enforce Bragg.
     Now is the time to destroy the Kentucky Railroad and the Cheat River Bridge, if possible.


Official Records, Series I., Vol. 25, Part 2, Page 689.

Davis misunderstood what Lee had asked Longstreet about.  For the proposed raid on the Cheat River Bridge Jones was asking for two regiments under Marshall, then serving in eastern Virginia under Longstreet.  But here you see Davis thinking in terms of what ultimately would be done in the Chickamauga campaign, namely to use interior lines of communications to reinforce Bragg with troops under Longstreet.  


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