• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.




Huntersville, Va., August 3, 1861.

General Henry A. Wise,

Commanding Kanawha Army, Lewisburg, Va.:


GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 1st instant to General Loring. The object of your returning from the Kanawha Valley towards Covington and uniting with General Floyd was for the protection of the Virginia Central Railroad, which, after the disaster that befell the Northwestern Army, was threatened through this place and Monterey. The enemy are now held in check from the two last-named points, and if they can be prevented from reaching Lewisburg they will be cut off from Covington and Newbern, on the Central and Southwestern Railroads. Are there any strong positions in front of Lewisburg that you can hold, re-enforced by General Floyd and the people of the country, that would accomplish this object, and can you get correct information of the force, movements, and apparent object of the enemy? It is necessary to stop his advance on both roads, if possible, and his progress east of the mountains. You must take care of the safety of your column, and if that does not require a further retrograde movement, you are desired to halt at Lewisburg till further notice. If obliged to retire, retard the advance of the enemy. Send back to General Floyd to support you. Inform General Loring of the positions you will take, and be prepared by a concentration of forces to strike a blow at the enemy.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General, Commanding



Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Vol. 5, p. 768.

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 May 31

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