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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Near Richmond 9 Aug ’62

            I Can only write you a short letter my dear daughters & it must therefore be a joint one. On my return night before last from Malvern hill I found your sweet affectionate letters my dear Annie & Agnes which made me wish to see you more than ever. I am glad you are all well & have determined to write to me sometimes without writing for replies. I have but little time for such recreation & I feel after they are written they are not worth reading, so it gives but little encouragement. I was called to Malvern Hill by its occupation by the enemy. On reaching there Wednesday afternoon after a dreadful hot march for our men, I found the enemy in position & in the same lines they occupied tuesday the 1st July & apparently in the same strength, drawn up, Inf, Cavy, & Arty in battle array. I thought they were going to fight the battle over again. We got in position by dark & rested till 3 next morg. On moving up we found they had slipped through our fingers during the night leaving in our hands some forty or fifty prisoners & a few dead on the field, the result of the skirmish the previous evg. They took refuge within their lines & we took another hot march to our camp. Your mother is as Hickory hill. Charlotte also. She says she is going to join you Soon.

            Mrs. Mary Stevenson & little M. are in Richmond & return to Georgetown on tuesday with Genl S. Thomas. Markies friend. I recd a note from Annette the other day by an unknown hand. From what she said I supposed it was one of her Sweethearts coming to the wars. All were well & all at Goodwood. Mary Hoffman & her Spouse had been to see them. The former in full health again looking very well. I send you her letter & card. Preserve the latter for me & if you ever write express my thanks &c. Miss Kittie Stiles came on for her brother. He left the morg of the evg of her arrival in Richmond. Your mother saw her. He was slightly wounded. Your Sister is at Mrs C’s. Custis is at his Castle with his bachelors, looking quite well but reporting weak. I will send him your letters that he may read your messages. Rob is with Jackson. It will be difficult for a letter to find him. Fitzhugh near Hanover Ct House.

            Not time for more. Love & Kisses to you all. your devoted father

            R E Lee



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 375, Section 19, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Nicholas Tarchis, 2017 May 26

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