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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Head Qrs 9th Va Cav

Near Richmond

(Wednesday) 25 June 1862


I have not written to you very recently, my dearest wife, as I understood from Chapman that there was a probability of your moving. I am uncertain now whether this will reach you or your former place. I can not refrain however from writing, as indications are very strong that to-morrow the great battle will commence. Our Army is in fine spirits and very confident of success. God grant that our expectations may be realized. I have been very well since my slight attack at Dr Conways

Since then your Husband has been on quite a little trip around McClellan’s army. We went down by Hanover C. H. where I saw them all at Hickory Hill, looked them up after they had all gone to bed. Williams had been paroled by the Yankees and allowed to remain at ho me. Your Uncle was as ever & Mrs Lucy very pretty. We went on down by Mr Biggerton Winston’s[1] driving the Yankee pickets before us on down by Hawe’s Shop: About a mile from Old Church we met quite [a] party, but charged them & dispersed them. When we got nearly to Old Church. They were drawn up on a hill, in a very strong position. I charged all of my squadron and after 5 minutes hard fighting hand to hand we completely put them to flight. I lost one Capt., and 5 or six men badly wounded. We burned their camp at Old Church. Went right on down by Mrs Braxton’s, Bassetts, & down towards Tunstalls, took a great many prisoners. We were too late to stop a train coming down, but fired into it. I was very much tempted to take a trip to the White House but it was too late & our safety depended upon being expeditious.

I saw Dr Harrison for a few moments. He was undisturbed himself, but his place was entirely cut up. The whole country is laid waste.

Our trip was very successful & I suppose you have seen by the papers of the 9th distinguishing itself.

I must now bid you goodbye my darling & I have not said half that I desire to say, but I am just ordered to mount. May Our Heavenly Father have us in his holy keeping. Kiss my darling boy for me & don’t let him forget his Pa.

Love to all the girls

W H F Lee

Col 9th Va Cav




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 361, Section 18, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 May 25    


[1] He is likely referring to Bickerton Winston (1816-1902), who owned “Signal Hill,” in Hanover County.

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