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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Headquarters, &c.,

Phillips’ House, Va., July 7, 1862


Hon. George Randolph,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Sir: I have the honor to call your attention to a paragraph in the Richmond Daily Dispatch of this morning, the publication of which might result most seriously to our army. In the third paragraph, first column, and first page, it states the forces at this point to be the divisions of Generals Longstreet, Jackson, and A. P. Hill. The entire Federal Army is in our immediate front; these papers reach the enemy, and the great danger of publishing any movements of this army and anything exhibiting its strength in whole or part must be apparent to all. I thought it was understood that our papers were to be silent on all matters appertaining to the movements of the army, and I beg that you will take the necessary steps to prevent in future the giving publicity in this way to our strength and position.

 I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





July 9, 1862

Send copies of this letter to all the papers in the city, and express the hope that no steps may be necessary to stop such publications. A more rigid censorship should be established by the papers themselves, or they will do much mischief. It is the ardent wish of the Department that this revolution may be successfully closed without the suppression of one single newspaper in the Confederate States, and that our experience may be able to challenge comparison with our enemy.

[G. W. R.]




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, pp. 635-636

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 October 19    

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