HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 27, 1864.
HON. SEC. OF WAR, Richmond.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the signal message sent me by your order yesterday. I had supposed that General Grant would make some movement simultaneously with any attack on Wilmington to prevent reinforcements being sent from here, and in that view I consider it important that in such an event General Hardee should reinforce General Bragg with all his available troops, or, on the other hand, should Charleston and not Wilmington be the real point of attack, a demonstration will be made against the others to detain the troops at either from the real point. The officers in command must judge which is the true movement and act accordingly.
I think it would be well that the policy which they are to pursue should be made the subject of an order from the Department directing the one not attacked to reinforce the one who is with all the troops he can spare.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 343-4