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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp near Culpeper,

November 17, 1862


His Excellency Jefferson Davis,

President of the Confederate States:

Mr. President: There is a general movement of the enemy from Warrenton, and he is falling down to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. I am not certain as to his destination. There are indications of his retiring toward Alexandria, but I have apprehended that he would transfer himself to Fredericksburg, and establish his base on the Potomac and Rappahannock, but there is nothing to show his purpose in that direction beyond the guards established on the roads leading to Fredericksburg, which would naturally be done to cut off information of his movements toward Alexandria. I have heard of no preparation to rebuild the wharves at Aquia Creek. Colonel Ball is engaged in breaking up the railroad to that point. I should think some provision would be made for subsisting a large army if a movement upon Fredericksburg was designed. The enemy’s trains from Warrenton move in the direction of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. The cars on said road are in active operation. I cannot tell whether they are carrying back or bringing forward troops.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

                R E Lee,





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, pp. 1014-1015

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 11

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