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Letter from General Lee to President Davis.

headquarters army of Northern Virginia, July 29, 1863.
His Excellency Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States.
Mr. President,—Your letter of the 21st instant has been received, and I am much obliged to you for the suggestions it contains. As soon as I receive an official account of the casualties in the army it will be forwarded. The list of our wounded and missing I know will be large. Many of the first could not be moved and had to be left behind. The latter will be swelled by the stragglers, who commenced, on crossing the Potomac, to stray from the line of march, and were intercepted by the enemy's cavalry and armed citizens, notwithstanding every effort which was made to prevent it. Our people are so little liable to control that it is difficult to get them to follow any course not in accordance with their inclinations The day after the last battle at Gettysburg, on sending back the train with the wounded it was reported that about 5,000 well men started back at night to overtake it. I fear most of these were captured by the enemy's cavalry and armed citizens who beset their route. These added to other stragglers, men captured in battle, and those of the wounded unfit to be transported, will swell our list of missing, and as far as I can judge the killed, wounded and missing from the time we left the Rappahannock until our return will not fall short of 20,000. This comprises, however, the slightly wounded and those who straggled from the ranks, who are now rejoining us. After recrossing the Potomac I commenced to consolidate the troops, considering the cases individually, and united Archer's and Heth's (Field's) former brigade under General H. H. Walker, and Pender's and Heth's divisions under General Heth The accession of convalescents and stragglers is enlarging these divisions so much that I shall have to separate them again.

As regards General Davis's brigade, I think it will be better to attach the three Mississippi regiments to Posey's brigade, in Anderson's division, where I hope they will soon be increased in numbers. The North Carolina regiment of this brigade I suggest be attached to Pettigrew's old brigade.

The only objection to this plan is that it breaks up General Davis's command; but if his indisposition will detain him long from the field,

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