• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 Fredg 11 May 1863

 

I recd yesterday dear Mary your notes of the 3rd & 4th. I Can only reply to Dr W that Knowing nothing of his qualifications it is not out of my power to recommend him & suggest that he gets letters from those who can speak Knowingly & specifically of his fitness. I forgot to mention in my last letter written since the recent battles that I told Mr Cowle [sic]1 on his arrival here, that if he would notify me of the time & place of his taking Genl Jackson’s likeness that I would attend, should nothing prevent. I heard nothing of him for two days, on the third morg I recd a note from Genl J[ackson]. written at the request of Mr C[owell] that he was at the house of Mr Yerby2 for the purpose &c & that unless I was there by 11 ¾ that I need not Come, as he would not have time to take my likeness. It was 11 ½ when I recd the note. My horses were out honzing3 on the hill & I was more than a mile distant. I thought it useless to attempt to reach him. It is all well as it is. You would not have liked his representation if made. You had better pay Mrs. Lee $25 in Confederate notes. I believe that is about the equivalent for $5 in gold. Probably it may be more. But you can learn the difference in exchange. I am very sorry the Drs medicines afford you no relief. We can only therefore trust in the mercy of our ever Kind father in heaven! I fear you will be unable to visit the Hot springs. I doubt whether there will be any accommodation there for visitors. But if you Can you had better go & take the girls. It may benefit my poor little Agnes. In addition to the death of friends & officers Consequent upon the late battles, you will see we have to mourn the loss of the good & great Jackson. Any victory would be dear at such a price. His remains go to Richmond to day. I know not how to replace him. But Gods will be done! I trust he will raise some one in his place. The papers will give you all particulars of the battle. I have no time to narrate them. Give much love to Chass & Agnes. Tell the former she will have to come see me that I may tell her what I would unite in answer to her letter if I had time. Remember me to Cousins H. & M. & all at Shirley. Wms. Wickham was to see me Saturday. He is very well & so were the Cavy Lees when heard from. Tell Smith if you see that his boys are well.

May God have you all in his holy keeping

Truly & affy yours

R E Lee

 

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 450, Section 22, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 June 12

 

 

1. Daniel T. Cowell (1831-1890), a Civil War photographer.

2. Thomas Yerby, who owned “Belvoir,” the house where Stonewall Jackson spent the last week of his life.

3. Lee may be referring to hoijsing (pronounced “honzing”) an English riding term from the 19th century. The term refers to horses sheltering themselves.

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