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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




Near Chantilly, Va., September 3, 1862

(Received September 8, 1862)


Hon. George W. Randolph,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that there are many conscripts in the counties recently vacated by the enemy that can now be had. In Fauquier I am informed that intelligent militia officers estimate the number as exceeding 400, who can all readily be obtained now. I respectfully suggest that measures be taken at once to get these conscripts and those in the adjoining counties, as also in the valley, and would advise that they be taken to Richmond for future distribution, under the law. There are also in all these counties men who have left the service and gone home within the late lines of the enemy. These also, I respectfully suggest, should be apprehended as soon as possible. It can now readily be done by obtaining the assistance of the State authorities.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee  




Above complied with, September 9

Inclosed copies of this letter to Lieut. Col. J. C. Shields and Governor Letcher. Inform Colonel Shields that I will have immediate and active exertions made to get the conscripts and deserters out of the counties evacuated by the enemy. Request Governor Letcher to call on the State officers to give us all the assistance in their power. A proclamation to that effect would produce a good effect.

G. W. Randolph,

Secretary of War



Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 19, Part 2, pp. 589-590


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 30


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