General Robert E. Lee :His fears and motivation to his troops!.


Lt. Colonel
Oct 26, 2012
Under the circumstances at Williamsport, Genral Lee new he was cornered up and wasn't sure how things were going to work out.


Mr. PRESIDENT: Since my letter of the 8th instant, nothing of importance, in a military point of view, has transpired . The Potomac continues to be past fording, and, owing to the rapidity of the stream, and the limited we have for crossing, the prisoners and wounded are not yet over. I hope they will be able to cross to-day . I have not received any definite intelligence of the movements or designs of the enemy . A scout that a column which followed us across the mountain has reached Waynesborough, Pa., and other bodies are reported as moving by way of Fredericksburg from Emmitsburg, as if approaching in this direction . If these reports be correct, it would appear to be intention of the enemy to deliver battle, and we have no alternative but to accept it if offered . The army is in good condition, and we have a good supply of ammunition, The supply of flour is affected by the highs waters, which interfere with the working of the mills.With the blessing of Heaven, I trust that the courage and fortitude of the army will be found sufficient to relieve us from the embarrassment caused by the unlooked-for natural difficulties of our situation, if not to secure valuable and substantial results. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,


A great motivational letter to his men.

President Confederate States. -



After along and trying marches, endured with the fortitude that has ever characterized the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia, you have penetrated the country of our enemies, and recalled to the defense of their own soil those who were engaged in the invasion of ours. You have fought a fierce and sanguinary battle, which, if not attended with the success that has hitherto crowned your efforts, was marked by the same heroic spirit that has commanded the respect of your enemies, the gratitude of your country, and the admiration of mankind. Once more you are called to meet the army from which you have own on so many fields a mane that will never die. Once more the eyes of your countrymen, are turned upon you, and again do wives and sisters, fathers, mothers, and helpless children lean for defense on your strong arms and brave hearts . Let every soldier remember that on his courage and fidelity depends all that makes life worth having-the freedom of his country, the honor of his people, and the security of his home ., Let each heart grown strong in the remembrance of your glorious past, and in the thought of the inestimable blessing for which we contend, and invoking the assistance of that Divine Power which has so signally blessed our former efforts let us go forth in confidence to secure the peace and safety of your country . Soldiers! your old enemy is before you! . Win from him honors worthy of your righteous cause -worthy of your comrades dead on so many illustrious fields.

R. E. LEE,


Pete Longstreet

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Mar 3, 2020
Hartford, CT
Lee understood the role of a leader, and how to encourage and motivate troops. Not only was he a skilled tactician, but his leadership qualities were superb. His men remained confident in his ability to lead, even after a serious defeat like Gettysburg. This letter shows Lee knew moral would begin to decline after the defeat and took time to write to his men to boost their spirits.