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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




New Market, Va., August 7, 1862

Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill,

Commanding Department of North Carolina:

General: Your letter of the 5th was received this morning. I regret to hear of the feeble conduct of your cavalry. Who is its commander and what is its strength? I hope you will see to its organization and instruction. The gunboat ought to have been destroyed. It may be too late to attack it now; but if not, try it with incendiary shells. You must endeavor to make your present division superior to your former, and I have great confidence of your accomplishing it.

I hope you will lose no opportunity of damaging the enemy in every way. I fear I shall have to recall Pendleton soon. His command requires his presence, and his guns are wanted here now. His batteries may also be wanted around Richmond. The enemy appear extremely active, and are making their appearance at all points bearing on the city. Push on your defenses at Petersburg and around Drewry’s Bluff. I wish to have Anderson’s division liberated. It is wanted now. Get all the free black and slave labor you can, and if you can accomplish anything against the enemy at Coggins Point or his communication by the river do so at the earliest favorable moment.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,



Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, part 3, p. 667

Transcribed b Colin Woodward, 2019 January 17



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