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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Head Qrs Dept NVa

18 November 1862


I send you a dispatch just recd from Genl Jackson; also one from Lieut Smith who is north of the Rappahannock. By the former it wd. appear that the enemy is strengthening himself at Harpers Ferry & middleburg; which is probably owing to Jacksons presence & the operations of the cavalry. By the latter it wd. seem that only Sumners Corps had advanced upon Fredburg. Do you think that the fo[r]ce now at Fredericksburg (Ball’s cavalry; Grimes’s inftry regt two Miss comps inftry & two light batteries/ strengthened by McLaws and Ransome’s divisions & Lee’s brigade of cavalry, can hold it in check. If so it would be better to retain yr other divisions until we can get further intelligence. I have ordered Lane’s long ranged battery to follow McLaws. I fear I may not hear from Stuart till morning. Please return the enclosed letters.

I am most respy

yr obt svt.

R E Lee


P.S. Nothing further from Fredburg since you left.




Source: Digital scan of original letter, signed by Lee but not in Lee’s handwriting, Cutts-Madison Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 February 4

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