1863
To General H. W. Halleck. October 16, 1863.
 

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
October 16, 1863.

MAJOR GENERAL HALLECK:

I do not believe Lee can have over 60,000 effective men.

Longstreet's corps would not be sent away to bring an equal force back upon the same road; and there is no other direction for them to have come from.

Doubtless, in making the present movement, Lee gathered in all available scraps, and added them to Hill's and Ewell's corps; but that is all, and he made the movement in the belief that four corps had left General Meade; and General Meade's apparently avoiding a collision with him has confirmed him in that belief. If General Meade can now attack him on a field no worse than equal for us, and will do so now with all the skill and courage which he, his officers, and men possess, the honor will be his if he succeeds, and the blame may be mine if he fails.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.