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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



New Orleans La

May 31st 1875

My Dear Colonel

            I thank you kindly for your prompt reply to my former letter, and its satisfactory response upon the point at issue.

            I am just now in receipt of Parson Jones’ Book. Now to send to New York to get it. He and Gen Early have changed the hour ordered, and have fixed it at “daylight.” There is not more than an hour or two between daylight and sunrise, yet that is quite enough margin to admit of a point on their side. I must therefore beg you to excuse my bothering you again to ask if you know anything of the order for a daylight attack by me.

            An order was given, as soon as the fight of the first day was over for Gen Ewell to attack, or rather prepare to attack, at daylight in his front, but was almost immediately changed so as to allow time for me to reach the field and make a cooperative attack upon, or by, our right. Vague recollections of this order, or rather the word ‘daylight” in connection with battle, have probably induced Parsons Jones and Pendleton, and Gen Early to avail themselves of the prejudices of the day and come in a little fame, nor this, by a combined effort to destroy my word. They have not alarmed me a great deal however. I know full well that I as well as all General officers have made mistakes, but I am well satisfied that neither Parson Jones nor Parson Pendleton nor Gen Early have military minds of sufficient comprehension to discount them.

Very Truly Yours

James Longstreet

Col W H Taylor

Norfolk, Va


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.417

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 18

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