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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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


 

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April 23d/61 [62]

Rockinham County

19 miles from Harrisonburg

 

Dear Father

Your letter of the 18th inst reached me today, it being the second time I have heard from any one of you since I entered the army. Capt Coleman brought me a joint letter from Annie & Agnes not very long ago. The Yankees are still running us, & I expect we will move tomorrow as they are reported quite close to night. We have turned off on a country road half pike & half dirt which leads to Gordonsville. The day we got here it rained, & for three days it poured & we have no tents & you can just imagine the comfort of the Army of the Valley. I fortunately procured a place on a porch of a house just across the road from our encampment where I kept comparatively dry. All the recruits of our company are still guarding the prisoner we had in Harrisonburg, but not quite so many for a great many have been released. There are nine Yankees among the number now most of them cavalry from Vermont.

Since that Act in Congress that every artillery company should consist of 150 men, I have been thrown out of the R[ockbrdge] A[rtillery] and am now no better than militia. We are on this detached duty & when that is finished at the discretion of Genl Jackson we are to be put in to the other Artillery companies of the Army. By this I am seperated [sic] from all my friends mess mates & every thing else. But they are turning every thing up side down here turning Artillery into infantry & vice versa. The whole army seems very much dissatisfied, & they [sic] are a good many desertions among the militia & the valley men who refuse to leave their homes behind them. But you can’t expect any thing else from volunteers they want to have every thing their own way. I am going to try every thing I can to get in the R A & if I ca’nt I will do what I am told my time is out I must bid you good night.

love to all. The $10 was received with the thanks of your aff son

Robt E Lee           

 

 

 

 

Source: Checked against original letter, Mary Custis Lee Papers, Mss1 L5144 a 884-895, Section 14, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 October 19

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