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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Head Quarters Lee’s Brigade

Oct 21st 1863

Near Beverly’s Ford


My Dear Mother

It has been quite an age since you have heard from me; & though I am very tired & sleepy I’ll not neglect this opportunity as we move off in the morning, of letting you know that I am well & in good health. We have had a long & tiresome trip, but our men stood it very cheerfully & the Cavalry covered themselves with glory. I didn’t get to Kinlock but Bev Turner joined us at Warrenton. He was just from home, & left them all very well. All the country the other side of Warrenton, along the RR & east of it is a perfect desert, not a dwelling but that is torn all to pieces, not a piece of fencing or any signs of civilization except one or two families principally free negroes.

We met separately & collectively the three Yankee Divisions of Cavalry Bufords Regulars, Greggs & Kilpatrick & whipt them every time.

The last fight was near Buckland on the Warrenton & Alexandria Turnpike, & when Genl Stuart retreated designedly before them to-wards Warrenton & Our Division under Genl Fitz Lee came up perpendicular to the Pike & cut their column in two. the surprise was complete & we ran them as far as we could see them. Captured half of their number & lances. One wagon loaded with ammunition and one loaded with medical stores & 800 prisoners.

I took dinner with Pa to day & found him & his staff all very well. He told me that you had at last taken a house in Richmond. I am glad to hear it & hope you & your daughters will establish yourselves comfortably this winter. I’ll try an come & see you when every thing is quiet.

Our Brigade is going across the Rapahanock to morrow to guard a working party who are pulling up the railroad irons & hauling it to the rear: We cross on a pontoon bridge at Rapahanock Fords. I expect a very disagreeable time for besides the Yankee Cavalry being in that direction it looks very much like a rainy spell was coming on which is almost as bad.

Remember me to all my friends & give my best love to my sisters & believe me your loving son

R E Lee jr



I think you are mistaken dear Mildred that I owe you a letter, for I have not heard from you for some-time, & am sure I have written. I have received very nice things from Nassau, some of which are of course for you. I also have several pairs of boots, one pr. for you, which if they don’t fit you can change. It is so near yr vacation. I think it best to keep the things ’till you come. Can you wait for the shoes? If you could get a good pr of walking shoes in Raleigh strong thick and high they might be more reasonable than here. Be sure & bring all of yr bed clothes &c. Custis has just returned this morning.

We have quite a nice little house. When does yr vacation commence? I must say good bye.

            Agnes Lee




Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 482, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond



Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 May 4

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