• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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, Va., May 7, 1862


Maj. Gen. B. Huger,

Commanding Department of Norfolk, Va.:

General: I have received your letter of the 5th instant and am pleased to learn that you are progressing favorably with your movements. I have this morning telegraphed to you relative to the disposition of the guns and troops. It is desired that you remove all the guns that you possibly can, selecting the best first. Please to have the columbiads (or navy 68-pounders), with some of the navy rifled guns, sent to this place, leaving four guns at Petersburg for a battery to protect obstructions in the Appomattox River. The others may be sent to Raleigh, N. C. I can appreciate your objections to dismantling the advanced batteries, but think it advisable to save the more valuable guns, if possible. Could they not be removed under cover of night? Colonel Clarke’s regiment had better be left in North Carolina. Please order him to report to General Holmes. Other regiments, as they can be spared, will be sent here. Please consolidate their organization into brigades when practicable, sending those of one brigade in succession. When everything has been done it is desired that you will come here also.

I have to inform you that it will be necessary to withdraw General Loring from your command. The order will be issued in a day or two, assigning him to duty elsewhere.

If the companies of cavalry formerly attached to the Wise Legion, and now forming a part of Davis’ regiment, can be spared, please send them up, that they may join their regiment, now in General Johnston’s army, on the Peninsula.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 3, Part 3, p. 497

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 March 22

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