Monday, July 15, 2013

July 16, 1863 (Friday): Other-Wise Well


Bunker Hill, July 16, 1863

Hon. James A. Seddon:
     Secretary of War, Richmond, Va:
     SIR: I have received the communication sent me by your brother, Major [John] Seddon, and shall endeavor to carry out your views.  He will inform you of the arrival of the army at this point; it is a little foot-sore, and in much need of shoes for men and horses; other-wise well.  I expect a supply of shoes of both kinds to-day, which will afford some relief, but not enough.  Clothing is also required.  The labors of the march have been increased by the constant rains, muddy roads, &c.
    I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

    R. E. LEE,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 27, Part 3, Page 1011.

In retrospect Gettysburg seems an enormous calamity to the Confederate cause.  Yet the sense of that does not pervade the writings of Confederate officers immediately after the fact. An awareness of the deficits in manpower the South was accumulating with each battle is mentioned at other times by Lee, but not in the aftermath of the battle.

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