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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia,

August 8, 1862

Brig. Gen.  R. S. Ripley,

Commanding Division:

General: Our experience of the past few days teaches the importance of having Charles City road better cared for. I wish you would station a regiment on it. It will serve to support the cavalry and give it more stability. A section of artillery, if you think fit, had better form part of the force. The best position, perhaps, would be at Riddle’s shops (or near there). But the health and comfort of the troops should be consulted in establishing their camp, and a picket, changed every twenty-four hours, could be established at the most commanding point. The regiment should at least be as far advanced as the waters of White Oak Swamp. If you cannot select the point yourself, send a judicious colonel for the first tour of duty. Let him take tools, &c., and throw up some breastworks, &c., for the protection of the troops at the point where they can make the best defense. Breastworks of logs, abatis, &c., could be used in prolonging the line through the woods. The regiment could be changed weekly if you desire it, to lighten the duty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, pp. 668-669

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 January 22

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