To Henry W. Halleck

                                                    Executive Mansion,
Major General Halleck        Washington, Oct. 16. 1863.

I do not believe Lee can have over sixty thousand 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 Hills & Ewell’s corps; but that is all. And he made the movement in the belief that four corps had left Gen. Meade; and Gen. Meade’s apparantly avoiding a collision with him has confirmed him in that belief. If Gen. Meade can now attack him on a field no worse than equal for us, and will do so 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

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