• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.


 

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Camp Rapidan 4 Decr ’63

My dear Mary

            I recd when the Army was in line of battle your letter of the 28th Ulto: & as Custis proposes to return to Richmond tomorrow I must endeavour to write a few lines in reply. You will probably have seen that Genl Meade has retired to his old position on the Rappk without giving us battle. I had expected from his movements & all that I had heard that it was his intention to do so, & after the first day, when I thought it necessary to skirmish pretty sharply with him on both flanks to ascertain his views, I waited patiently his attack. Tuesday however I thought he had changed his mind & that night made preparations to move around his left next morg & attack him. But when day dawned he was no where to be seen. He had commenced to withdraw at dark Tuesday evg. We pursued to the Rapidan but he was over. Owing to the nature of the ground it was to our advantage to receive rather than to make the attack & as he about doubled us in numbers, I wished to have that advantage. I am greatly disappd at his getting off with so little damage, but we do not know what is best for us, I believe a kind God has ordered all things for our good. I must leave to Custis to tell you of all events. I send you a letter from Judge Field, which I also recd when in line of battle. I have kept the salve & will try it, but you will see the prescription & can have it made & try it. I hope it will relieve us both. I am much better, though still stiff & painful. I fear I will never be better & must be content. I recd the box from Mrs Heiskell when we returned to Culppepper. It was very acceptable & Contained all things a man might want in the field. It was sent to Col: Corley for whom half the box was intended & Bryan divided it with him. I hope it was done fairly. Col: Corely promised to return all the clothes, &c with my thanks for her Consideration. Mr Heiskell was in western Virga with Col: Corley, & it was on that account I suppose I came in for part of his favours. Do ask Mrs Atkinson to express my gratitude to Mrs H. I am glad to hear there is a prospect of getting socks & gloves for the Soldiers. Tell all the young girls to set to work industriously knit night & day. None of them shall see their sweethearts till they are forth coming. So Misses Norvell & Silby must listen themselves. Send Beverly Coderises coat, &c to me through Col: Corley, as you send the socks. They will come safely. I have not seen him for some time. As to my jackets get any pattern to fit a big old man & cut them large. Measure Custis & give an extra size or two. Good bye with love to the girls & Charlotte.

I am most truly & affly yours

                                    R E Lee

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 493, Section 24, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Nicholas Tarchis, 2017 June 1    

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