Portrait of Jefferson Davis

On June 1, 1862, Confederate President Jefferson Davis (pictured here) wrote to General Robert E. Lee, assigning him to command of the troops in Eastern Virginia and in North Carolina that would soon be known as the Army of Northern Virginia. [Wikimedia Commons]

Message from Jefferson Davis Assigning Robert E. Lee to Command the Army of Northern Virginia

June 1, 1862

On June 1, 1862, Confederate President Jefferson Davis wrote to General Robert E. Lee, assigning him to command of the troops in Eastern Virginia and in North Carolina that would soon be known as the Army of Northern Virginia.

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RICHMOND, VA., June 1, 1862.

General R. E. LEE:

SIR: The unfortunate casualty which has deprived the army in front of Richmond of its immediate commander, General Johnston, renders it necessary to interfere temporarily with the duties to which you were assigned in connection with the general service, but only so far as to make you available for command in the field of a particular army. You will assume command of the armies in Eastern Virginia and in North Carolina, and give such orders as may be needful and proper.

Very respectfully,
JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Message from Jefferson Davis Assigning Robert E. Lee to Command the Army of Northern Virginia
  • Coverage June 1, 1862
  • Author
  • Keywords Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Army of Northern Virginia.
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 11, 2021
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