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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp near Fredg 28 Nov ‘62

My dear Son,

            I have recd your note of the 25th & am much obliged to you for attending to the business at the Bank. The dividend coupons due in Jany you can give to Mr. Taylor if he Can dispose of them to advantage. I hope you will be able to arrange for the people whom I wish to liberate the 31 Decr. See if Mr. Eacho Can not propose & prepare the papers. The expenses can be paid from the hire. Give him the names of all those hired in Richd. Perry, Billy & such of those as are at the White House as wish it or who can support themselves, must be included. Indeed I should like to include the whole list at Arlington White House &c if it can be done so as to finish the business. It is possible that during the winter though hardly before Xmas I might get to R. to attend to it, or the papers Could be brought to me. I send down some summer drawers & socks. Please put them in my trunk. It will relieve my valise here. If you are not using that Mexican bit, I should like to try it on my grey horse. If you are, do not send it as it is only an experiment & may not prove good. The bit I use is probably equally severe. But my hands are weaker now. I send a passport for Ella[1] & Mrs. Haxall, but do not recommend the trip. It is hazardous & dangerous. It is all I can do. The enemy’s gun boats appeared at Port Royal las evg & their pickets extend to King George Ct House. The route from Warrenton is more open now. Give much love to your mother Chass & Agnes. I hope all will continue well. Remember me to all friends. God grant that our armies may sustain the Confidence reposed in them by our people & I trust that the prayers offered up in their behalf may be answered. But the people must help themselves, or Providence will not help them. If you can have me a vest made, of blue, black, or grey cassimere or cloth, rolling collar & army buttons, I shall be obliged to you. It can be made on your measure a size larger, or they have my measure at the clothing bureau if made there. All here send their regards. F. is well. I was with him yesterday. Johnny too. Very truly & affy your father

RE Lee


Col: G. W. Custis Lee









Source: Digital scan of original letter, Robert E. Lee Papers, 1749-1975, Rubenstein Library, Duke University


Transcribed by Daniel Shevalier, 2018 June 12


[1] Ella Carter was a niece of General Lee, being the daughter of his first cousin, Mr. Charles Henry Carter. She was born 1836 December 10 in Maryland and was always a favorite of General Lee, having gone to school with his daughter Mary. Ella married a Mr. Samuel Knox George on 1863 June 10 and lived near Ellicott City, Maryland. She died 1893 September 27.

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