• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Richmond, Va., March 14, 1862.

Maj. Gen. T. H. Holmes, Commanding, &c., Fredericksburg, Va.:

            General: At the time the position of Fort Lowry was selected it was supposed to be the lowest point at which the river could be defended with the guns then available. I do not know what may be its present strength, or whether there may not be other points above better calculated to arrest the ascent of the Rappahannock by the enemy‚Äôs boats. I request, should you not already have done so, that you will cause examinations to be made as to the best point that can be taken for this purpose. All other things being equal, the lowest point ought, in my opinion, to be preferred. But I think, in addition to the batteries that may be erected, a barrier should be placed in the bed of the river below, and close under the guns. The locality should therefore be chosen with this view. Please advise me of the conditions of affairs on the river and what, in your opinion, can be done to close its navigation to the enemy.

                        I am, &c.,

RE Lee

General, Commanding.





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 5, p. 1099

Transcribed by Daniel Shevalier, 2018 June 14

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