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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



My darling Mother

                You complain in your letter to Rooney of my not writing to you since my arrival here, but you must consider how busy I have been ever since my arrival. The third day, I think after my arrival the Brigade went up to Fredericksburg or rather near there, where [we?] were busily engaged observing the enemy untill yesterday when we reached this place.

                I have completely recovered from my indisposition & have been vaccinated so you may let your mind rest on the state of my health. Rooney is very week & so is John & the rest of the staff.

                Two of Gen Stuart’s aids, Tom Turner[1] & Walter Hulihen[2] went over to King George the other day to bring sister over the lines but she refused to come & very wisely I think, for she would have had to leave everything behind except herself & maybe herself.

                You have seen the accounts of the great Battle so I will say nothing on the subject except that we whipped them soundly & killed about three times as many of them as they did of us.

                My old Battery suffered very heavily in killed & wounded. I poor Ranny Fairfax[3]; he will be a great loss both to his parents friends & to the world. For a young man of more promise I as regards this world & the next I don’t think can be found anywhere. I am glad to say that he is now safe in heaven after having given his life to his country. God grant that we may all die like him believing in Christ.

We are in very good quarters now and are faring very well & I think I prefer the Cavalry to the Artillery. I suppose Roon has told Charlotte about the Calico & shoes. I picked them out, so if you all don’t like the goods it is owing to my want of taste.

You must give my best love to Charlotte & Agnes & all enquiring friends. The Gen sends his best love to all; so farewell & believe me your loving son

R E Lee Jr

P.S. Send me Milly’s direction

R E Lee


Source: Photocopy of orginal, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 416, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 June 23



[1] Thomas Baynton Turner (1843-1863) from Virginia, he served as Stuart’s staff & was mortally wounded in April 1863.

[2] Rev. Walter Quarrier Hullihen (1841-1923), close aid to Gen. Stuart who nicknamed him “Honeybun.”

[3] Randolph Cary Fairfax (1842-1862), was killed by a shell fragment at the battle of Fredericksburg on 1862 December 13.

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