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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Hd Qrs: Dept of Texas

Fort Brown, 20 April 1860


His Excy

Sam Houston

Governor of Texas



I had the honour on the 11 Inst: to receive from the Honble Geo: McKnight, Commr of the State, your Communication of the 24th Ulto:

Having no authority to receive volunteers into the service of the U. States, I was unable to retain the Squadron of Rangers on the Rio Grande, upon the conditions proposed.

It is gratifying to me to state that Major Heintzelman1 commg the U. S. troops on the Rio Grande speaks in complimentary terms of the conduct of both officers & men composing the squadron & particularly commends Major Ford & Capt Littleton2 commanding the two companies.

You will be pleased to learn that at this time there are no disturbances on this frontier, & that I hear of the presence of no banditti on either side of the river.

I am with high respect your obt servt

RE Lee

Bt Col Commg Dept of Texas




1. Samuel P. Heintzelman (1805-1880), a veteran of the Mexican War and a West Pointer who served in the Army of the Potomac during the war. After the Second battle of Bull Run, he was moved to command of defenses at Washington.

2. John Littleton and John S. Ford.



Source: Digital scan of original letter, Robert E. Lee Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 July 31

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