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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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

W. H. F. Lee’s Cavalry Division

Army Northern Virginia


Jany 15 [1863]


My dear Agnes:

I am very much obliged to you for your New Year’s letter. Moses & Scott1 arrived safely satiated with their gayeties. Moses has been quite sick suffering from his change of diet. He is now the head of a family & wears his new honors very well. We are all pretty well just now. The cavalry has lately been pretty gay. Several of the Regiments have been having Tournaments. The 13th Virginia had a coronation party on Thursday last after their Tournament.

We have seen a good deal of the Masons lately. Mildred’s friend Miss Emma2 is a great favorite with her cousin John. Miss Laisa is a very nice young lady after Custis’ ideas. What have you been doing with yourself? Is Miss Sally still the rage? We hear of you sometimes. I am rejoiced to hear of your having recovered from your neuralgia. Tell ma that the drawers were just in time & I wish you would ask Mary to continue to send me my long boots.

Hear Shirley & Miss Rose made up their affair. I saw by the papers that dear Ann Richie had died.

My love to all

Your aff. Brother

W H F Lee


Rob is well & sends his sinc. regards




1. Lee is likely referring to Major Raphael Jacob Moses (1812-1893), a planter and lawyer from South Carolina, and Fred R. Scott. Both worked as commissaries. Moses was living in Georgia when the war broke out. He later served as Chief Commissary for Georgia. After the war, he became a legislator, though he died in Belgium. Scott was born in Ireland on 1830 October 22. He moved to New York City in 1850 and then to Petersburg, Virginia, in 1852. He married Sarah Frances Branch in 1857 and entered the Confederate army as a private in the 12th Virginia infantry. He rose to the rank of major. After the war, he worked for the Richmond-Petersburg railroad. He died in Richmond in 1898 and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

2. Likely Emma Virginia Mason (1815-1909), a native of Kentucky, who later settled in Alexandria, Virginia. She was a descendant of George Mason of Gunston Hall. She was known as the “Florence Nightengale of the Confederacy” for her work in hospitals during the war. She was also an author and editor, who, after the war, published Journal of a Young Lady of Virginia, concerning Lucinda Lee, and Popular Life of Gen. Robert Edward Lee.   



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss 1 L51 c 338, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 December 9

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