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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

March 25, 1863


Hon. James A. Seddon, Secretary of War:


Sir: I have received a letter from Mr. [H. D.] Whitcomb, superintendent of the Virginia Central Railroad, with reference to the supplies of wood on the road, and its present condition, with a communication from Mr. [E.] Fontaine, president of the road, upon the same subject. I am convinced that a portion of the levy of negroes called for to work on the fortifications can be much more beneficially employed on this road, to prevent it from failing us at a time when we shall most need it. I therefore earnestly recommend that 100 of the levy about to be called for from Albemarle and the adjacent counties be allowed, with the consent of their masters, to work sixty days on the railroad instead of on the fortifications. The necessities of the road are immediate, and I see no other way of supplying them.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee





Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 25, Part 2, pp. 683-684


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 27

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