• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



A character of high & zealous honour is essential to the efficiency of any military establishment. It is not a Cold performance of duty that Can raise it to a proper standard, but then must be a spirit of emulation, generous, but active & ceaseless whenever there are duties to be fulfilled a honor to be acquired. No Military establishment in the world exceeds the American Army in the great characteristics of honor, patriotism, discipline & valour, and the Army has always done its duty to the Country. The Campaigns in Mexico were futile in glorious results & he who planned & conducted one of those perilous inroads into the heart of the enemys Country, is the only living officer excluded from the distribution of rewards so gratifying to the just pride of a Soldier.


I certify that the above is the handwriting of the late Genl. R. E. Lee.

G. W. C. Lee, Exr.


Lexington, Va.

4 May, 1888




Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 3, M2009.441, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 November 30



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