• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 5, 1861.

General Henry A. Wise,

Commanding Wise’s Brigade, White Sulphur Springs, Va.:


GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 4th instant, and am glad to learn the precautions you have taken to check the advance of the enemy. I hope they may be successful, and that as soon as possible you will advance west of Lewisburg to Meadow Bluff, or such other point as you may deem best, to oppose his eastward progress. As far as I am advised, General Floyd is at the Sweet Springs, unless he is on his march to your support at Lewisburg. If his command was at Wytheville, a movement in sufficient force, as you propose, to Fayette Court-House, would materially lighten the pressure of the enemy on your front. But you will perceive he is not in position for such a move, and I hope will join or precede you to Lewisburg.

From the information I get, perhaps not as reliable as that you receive, the number of the enemy at Summersville is about half that you give. I can only learn of five regiments, about 4,500 men, having left Huttonsville for Summersville, to be increased by about the same number from other points. The advance on this line to Middle Mountain, Valley Mountain, and Cheat Range may bring them back to securely guard the railroads to the Ohio. In that event it will relieve your front, and may permit your advance to the Gauley, if desirable.

I much regret to hear that your arms are so poor. There are no percussion muskets for issue by the State of Virginia, unless some have been altered since my departure from Richmond. The only available guns that I am aware of are the flint-lock muskets. I am very sorry to hear that you have lost so many good arms by the desertion of the State troops. They will probably rejoin you on your advance. General Loring will expect to be kept advised of any movement against his rear by your vigilant and energetic scouts.

I am, with much respect, your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General, Commanding



Source: The War of the Rebellion: Series 1, Volume 5, p. 771-72.


Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 May 31


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