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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Richmond        July 24th 1862


My dearest Aunt [Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee],

I have but a moment to write to convey the sad intelligence of Julian’s death.1 He was killed at Malvern Hills [sic] this morning at 9 A.M. in a charge upon the enemy’s cavalry while a long distance in in front of his Company, & while fighting with characteristic courage for everything that makes life dear to us. He was shot through the right lung low down, & killed instantly. I have not yet seen him. Wm Shirley & I will take his remains to Pampatike2 tomorrow. May God soften & bless this sad blow to us all. Yrs most afftly

Tho. H. Carter




1. Private Julian Muse Carter (1834-1862), Thomas Carter’s brother. A native of King William, Virginia, Julian Carter was killed on July 24 in the fighting at Malvern Hill, weeks after the battle of July 1. Federal forces remained in the area, and Lee was prepared to fight a second battle at Malvern Hill. Julian is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Carter’s father was Thomas Nelson Carter (1800-1883). The Carter’s plantation, “Annefield,” in Clarke County, Virginia, was where Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee was born in 1808.

2. Farm owned by the Carter family in King William County, Virginia.




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Mss1 L51 b 59, Lee Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 May 29 

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