Jefferson (Near Warrenton)
25 Aug ’62
You see I am getting father & farther from you dear Mary. The high water of the Rappk prevented our crossing lower down & I have been obliged to ascend the river. I hope we shall find practicable fords in this region & be able to throw the army across. The enemy follows us on the opposite bank & is prepared to oppose the passage. The rains have however ceased now & I trust the river will soon fall. I think we shall at least change the theatre of war from James river to north of the Rappk. That is part of the advantage I contemplated. If it is effected at least for the season, it will be a great gain. In the Contest at Rappk bridge Saturday Saturday [sic], I regret to inform you that my aid Major [Charles] Marshall lost his brother. He was killed by the bursting of one of our own guns. We easily drove the enemy but the river had been swelled by the rains to swimming stage & we could not cross. The bridge was burned by the enemy & all the fine houses on the north side (in revenge I suppose) before they retreated. Fitzhugh is well & is doing good service. Rob too, but I have seen neither of them. I saw the latter Sunday week on the Rapidan. We are all too busy for visiting, If I can only think of them, it is as much as I can do.
Give much love to every body. Kiss Chass for her Papa. Tell Cousin Anne & pretty Luce that Wms is very well & is improved by a little shooting. Remember me to dear old Uncle & Mr. W[ickham]. Tell Chass that Genl Stuart says Fitzhugh made a beautiful charge the other night at Catlett’s Station. He has no doubt written her all about it, several long letters, but I fear the couriers have been at fault & not delivered them at their destination. But she will hear at last.
Very truly & affly
R E Lee
Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 384, Section 19, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 April 20