Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            MARCH 4TH.—Bright and frosty in the morning; warm and cloudy in the afternoon. The enemy have disappeared.

            On the 17th inst., Gen. Lee wrote the Secretary of War that he had received a letter from Gen. Longstreet, asking that Pickett’s Division be in readiness to join him; also that a brigade of Gen. Buckner’s Division, at Dalton, be sent him at once. He says the force immediately in front of him consists of the 4th, 11th, 9th, and 23d corps, besides a large body of cavalry from Middle Tennessee. Gen. Lee says the railroad from Chattanooga to Knoxville, being about completed, will enable the enemy to combine on either Johnston or Longstreet. He (Gen. Lee) says, however, that the 4th and 11th corps are small, and may have been consolidated; the 23d also is small; but he does not know the strength of the enemy. He thinks Pickett’s Division should be sent as desired, and its place filled with troops from South Carolina, etc., where operations will probably soon cease. The Secretary sent this to the President. The President sent it back today, indorsed, “How can Pickett’s Division be replaced?—J. D.”

            Henly’s Battalion returned this evening; and Custis can resume his school, unless he should be among the list doomed to the rank in the field, for which he is physically incapable, as Surgeon Garnett, the President’s physician, has certified.

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