• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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, Septr 7 1865


Dear General,


Your circular of the 31st. July reached me only a few days since. I regret to hear that you also have lost your papers. Johnston is in the same condition, I believe, for a part of his own & a large portion of mine were taken in Ga. Near Atlanta with my baggage, in direct violation of the terms of agreement between. Genl Sherman & Johnston & I have written to these two officers to Mr. Stanton & to Prest. Johnson on the subject, but all of no avail thus far. I fear I shall never recover baggage or papers, the latter had been collected with great care for the purpose of writing the history of the defence of Charleston, which cannot now be done, among those papers were those of the fall of Sumter in 1861, & of the campaign in Western Tenn. in 1862. It is painful to think, that we shall not be able to write the history of our struggle for Independence, & then commemorate the heroic deeds of our gallant soldiers a generous Enemy would aid us to comply with so sacred a duty!

I will endeavor to send you, as soon as possible, copies of the papers you call for, but my papers being still very much scattered, I am unable to state when I will be able to do so can they be trusted to the mail?

I see in the public papers that you intend leaving the country; is it so? I thought you had applied for pardon. I intend to have done the latter, as soon as I had been informed of you & Johnson having done so, but the seizure of my private baggage & papers has left me undecided in my future course. It is hard to ask pardon of an adversary you despise!

Wishing you health & prosperity. I remain Yours truly


G. T. Beauregard


Genl. R. E. Lee

Centerville, Va. 




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

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 February 13

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