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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




Valley Mountain, Va., August 27, 1861.

General Henry A. Wise,

Commanding Wise’s Legion, Camp Dogwood Gap, Va.:


GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 24th instant, and am much concerned at the view you take of your position and its effect upon your Legion. I do not apprehend the consequences you suppose will follow from its being under the general order of the commander of the Army of the Kanawha, or from its forming a part of that army. It will be under your immediate care and control, and, though it may be occasionally detached from your command, it cannot suffer any harm under its regularly-constituted officers. The Army of Kanawha is too small for active and successful operation to be divided at present. I beg, therefore, for the sake of the cause you have so much at heart, you will permit no division of sentiment or action to disturb its harmony or arrest its efficiency. In accordance with your request I will refer your application to be detached from General Floyd’s command to the Secretary of War. At present I do not see how it can be done without injury to the service, and hope, therefore, you will not urge it. Your account of General Floyd’s position makes me very anxious for his safety, and I would immediately dispatch an infantry force to his support (the only character of troops that could reach him across the mountains), did I not suppose from the time that has already elapsed and the distance they would have to march (about 60 miles) they could not possibly arrive in time to be of any avail. I think, therefore, he will either have retired up the Gauley and recrossed at the ferry, or that you will have built a flat and crossed to his support.

Your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General, Commanding



Source: The War of the Rebellion: Series 1, Volume 5, p. 810.


Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 May 31



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