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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

December 29, 1862


Hon. James A. Seddon,

Secretary of War:

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith two letters from Brig. Gen. W. E. Jones, of the 26th instant. General Jones, by my direction, was left in command of the troops in the valley by General Jackson when his corps was withdrawn. As soon as I heard of the movement of the enemy to Moorefield, I instructed him to concentrate the troops in that region, if necessary; cut off the enemy’s communication with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and endeavor to drive him across the Potomac.

You will perceive from one of his letters that Colonel Davidson, and the troops under him, are considered under the command of General Elzey, who, I understand, is on duty in Richmond. I think it better that all the troops in the valley should be under one commander, and have, therefore, so ordered it. I have repeated my orders to General Jones to endeavor to drive back the enemy, and to endeavor to rally around him all the citizens of the west, for their protection and defense.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, p. 1079

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 21

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