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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




Richmond, Va., March 31, 1862


Maj. Gen. J. B. Magruder,

Commanding Department, Yorktown, Va.:

General: I have the honor to acknowledge your telegram asking that Ramseur’s battery be sent you. There is already under your command on the Peninsula double the amount of the artillery in the Department of Norfolk.

It was not intended that General Colston should cross the river unless there was positive evidence of an attack against you in force. The instructions were to this effect; nor was it contemplated that Ramseur’s battery or the cavalry should accompany him until it was ascertained that no attack was threatened on Norfolk.

From present indications I think that Norfolk is quite as seriously threatened as the Peninsula, and more probably the object of attack. Should the latter prove the case, it is expected, as intimated to you by letter on 26th instant, that you will render all the assistance in your power compatible with the security of your own line.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General, Commanding




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, part 3, p. 413

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 April 18


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