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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Columbia Nov. 2nd 1865


My Dear General

On my return to this place after an absence of two months, I found your kind & most acceptable letter. The terms in which you were pleased to express your regret at my absence during the last struggle, gratified & touched me beyond expression. I shall always keep your letter as the highest testimonial I could have won, & as my proudest memorial of the war. The war has left me, like most of my countrymen with broken fortunes, & without a home. All the houses of my family here were destroyed by Sherman & we are all homeless. This however & the loss of fortune are such small evils in comparison to the loss of our cause that they give one but little concern. True soldiers are all willing. I am sure to follow your example, & to earn their bread by their labor.

In a few days, I expect to go out to Miss. to see if I can save anything from the general wreck there. As soon as I can get hold of any mem. I shall try to renew my reports. Nearly all the originals were destroyed in my house. The campaign in this state was sickening, & I suppose that its history will never be written. Shall I send my reports to Lexington? And when shall you need them? I write with some difficulty at present, as I met with an accident some weeks ago, by which my right shoulder was very badly dislocated. Your letter would have been answered sooner, but for this misadventure, & I shall begin on my reports as soon as I can write with care. With my kind regards to your family, & my earnest wishes for your propriety & happiness, I am, my Dear General

Very Respy & sincerely

Your friend

Wade Hampton



Source: Robert E. Lee Headquarters Papers, Folder 29, Mss3 L 515a, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 February 9




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