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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Norfolk, VA

April 28, 1875

Dear Genl.

            I have received your letter of the 20th inst. I have not read the article of which you speak nor have I ever seen any copy of Genl Pendleton’s address: indeed I have read little or nothing of what has been written since the war: in the first place because I couldnt spare the time, and in the second, because, of those of whose writings I have heard, I deem but very few entitled to any attention whatever. I can only say that I never before heard of the “sunrise attack” you were to have made as charged by Genl Pendleton. If such an order was given you I never knew it, or it has strangely escaped my memory. I think [continued below]

I remain

Very respectfully & c[ourteously]

W. H. Taylor

Genl J. Longstreet

New Orleans


it more than probable that if Gen­l Lee had had your troops available the evening previous to the day of which you speak, he wd have ad an early attack: but this does not touch the point at issue. I regard it as a best mistake on the part of those who, perhaps because of political differences, now undertake to criticize & attack your war record: such conduct is most ungenerous & I am sure meets the disappointment of all good Confederates with whom I have the pleasure of associating in the daily walks of life.1

Yrs very resp[ectfull]y,

W. H. Taylor


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.416

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 18


1. After the war, Longstreet joined the Republican Party, the only senior Confederate officer to do so, and endorsed his old friend Ulysses Grant for President in 1868. These actions, among others, turned many Southerners against him.

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