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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Hd Qr Near Martinsburg1

Sepr 23d 62


My dear Daughter

I have received your two last affectionate letters, which have given me great pleasure and comfort. I was very glad to hear that you will recover, and that Mrs Caskie was doing better. I am unable to write to you and have to employ the pen of a friend. The doctors say I will be able to use my own.

You must give much love to your mother and sisters and remember me kindly to all friends. Tell Mrs Randolph I am very grateful for her remembrance of me and she must present me kindly to the secretary.

I presume the papers give you full accounts of the movements and doing of the army; you know I have but little news ever to tell and cant keep pace with the better writers.

We had two hard fought battles in Maryland and will not consider ourselves beaten as our enemies suppose we were greatly outnumbered, and opposed by double our strength yet we repulsed all their attacks held our ground and retired when it suited our convenience. Our loss is said to be very heavy and their papers report thirteen of their Generals killed and wounded at Sharpsburg, among the former is my old engineer comrade General Mansfield.2

With much love and great affection your father

R. E. Lee

Miss Mary C. Lee  




1. Not in Lee’s handwriting. Dictated by Lee to a staff member, as Lee was still recovering use of his hands after a bad fall during the Antietam campaign.

2. Joseph K. Mansfield (1803-1862), a Union general. A native of New Haven, Connecticut, he was serving in Hooker’s corps when he was wounded on the fighting of September 18. He died the next day.



Source: Transcribed from original letter, Mary Custis Lee Papers, Mss1 L5144 a 884-895, Section 14, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2021 November 21





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