Item Description: Letter dated 1 October 1863 from General R. S. Ewell to Robert Lewis Dabney. R. L. Dabney was a clergyman, teacher, Confederate staff officer and chaplain. This letter responds to an earlier letter of Dabney’s regarding suggestions for the war and mentions General Stonewall Jackson in the postscript and General Lee in the main body. R. L. Dabney wrote a biography of General Jackson entitled the Life and Campaigns of Lt. Genl. T. J. Jackson (‘Stonewall Jackson’).
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Dr. R. L. Dabney
I received your letter a few days since and am obliged to you for keeping your promise so promptly – as your letter is not closed or signed, I was hoping to hear from you again or else that you have not sent all you had another your letter has three sheets of note paper the last item being on the subject of absenteeism exemplified by reference to Taliaferro Hospital.
I had a conversation yesterday with General Lee yesterday in which I spoke of your letters and he expressed a desire to see it. I shall send him the letter and I hope the former may profit by the suggestions therein thrown and – I think the suggestions about absenteeism capital but how are they to be carried out? How could we get a board constituted as to cut the corner out by the roots – work of ? would be mere reflections of the one you mentioned which shed oceans of ink and resulted in nothing_ I have nothing now to write a picket of the enemy is occasionally surprised and it seems to be routine that the enemy have never two corps to the west – I fear to write but would like to talk with you.
R. S. Ewell
P.S. The main object of my writing ? as to whether Gen. Jackson ever held a command of war – I answer in the negative. Just before going to McDowell he sent for me and divulged his plans but even this was not done at Cross Keys or Port Republic – Particularly my regards to the latter. I answer in the negative.
R. S. Ewell