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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp near Richmond

11th July 1862

Your two letters, my darling wife, reached me to-gether on yesterday, just before starting for this camp. Its news was overwhelming. My precious baby, how his Pa mourns his loss!! I had had no news of his being sick. I would, my darling, that I could be with you to share your grief!

If you say it is God’s will & I rejoice that my boy is happy in the arms of his savior. That he has been spared the trials, temptations & sorrows of this wicked world. I feel too that it is a just punishment for my many & daily sins. That is a thought which ways [sic] heavily on my heart. It always makes me feel that I am the murderer of my boy. How I loved him! How I looked forward to see him walking and talking!!

We must never forget him: nothing can fill in my heart, the place made vacant by his death. I loved my first born, as I can love no other. My hopes, pride were centered in him. But it has pleased our Heavenly Father with all our other afflictions, to visit us with this & we must bow to his will.

You must not let it bear too heavily upon you, my darling, especially in your present situation. Think of him as a bright Cherubin in the skies above.

Recollect that you are everything to your husband & you must take good care of your health for his sake.

Thanks to Almighty God I have been brought in safety through the dangers of the last week.

Our house is in ashes & the whole plantation a wilderness. Hardly a servant left. I will write your more another time. My heart is heavy now.

I should like you to come on to me, if you could, but I do not wish you to run any risk of your health. The cars I understand will be all taken up in transferring soldiers from the South.

Write me, my darling, & recollect that when you do not hear from me, it is because I am not in a situation where it is possible to write.

God be praised for our great victory.

I hope that this summer will bring us peace.

God bless & protect you, my own darling wife, & may we be soon re-united.

Your devoted husband

W. H. F. Lee




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 365, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 April 20      


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