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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp Culpeper 2 Aug 1863

                I have recd dear Mary your letter of the 26th from the H. Springs & am truly grateful to the kindness of our friends for their care & attention of you, & to Almighty God for his help & support. I fervently pray that he may bless the means he has provided you for your relief, & should he not grant you a perfect restoration, that you may at least obtain ease & Comfort. You must not mind the trouble or even suffering of your journey or sojourn, provided you attain the benefit we so much desire. You must thank for me all the kind friends that have aided in alleviating the pain of your journey as I am unable to do so. I am glad at least you have with you so pleasant a party. I wish I was also. Tell Chass never mind the face. It is very temporary in its effects & the plainer it is the more healthy. I have heard of some Dr having reached Richmond that had seen our dear F at Ft: Monroe. He said his wound was improving & that he himself was well & walking about on crutches. The exchange of prisoners that had been going on has for some cause been suspended, owing to some crotchet or other, but I hope will soon be resumed & that we shall have him soon back. Tell Chass I think it very doubtful whether they would allow her to visit him. The only way of accomplishing it is to get permission from Mr Secy Stanton in Washn through Mr Ould to take the Flag of truce boat to Old Point. I do not think he would give it in her case, It having been refused in others, which they they [sic] would not feel as much objection in obliging, & I believe their permission is always Coupled with the obligation to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. I think an application therefore would be useless. Our only Course is to be patient & pray God for his preservation & speedy restoration. I grieve much at his position, but know no way of mending it. Any expression on my part would injure matters. I Can therefore do nothing but sorrow[?]. We are all as well here as usual. The armies are in such close proximity that frequent collisions are common along the out posts. Yesterday the enemy laid down two or three pontoon bridges over the Rappk & crossed his Cavy & a large force of his Infy. It looked at first as if it was the advance of his army & as I had not intruded to deliver battle. I directed the Cavy to retire slowly before them; but to check their too rapid progress. Finding later in the day that their army was not following I ordered out the Infantry & drove them back to the river. Hamptons brigade was the portion of the Cavy opposed to them, & it behaved very handsomely. Hampton himself is about wounded & the brigade was under Col. Baker, who aquitted himself well. He is wounded in the arm. Cols: Black & young also wounded. Our loss in numbers was small.I suppose they intend to push on towards Richmond by this or some other route. I trust they will never reach there. Give much love to all with you. I write to you a week since from this Camp enclosing a letter to Chass. I hope it reached you. Kiss my daughters for me & Annie Leigh. God bless & preserve you all!


R E Lee   





Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 469, Section 23, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 July 27

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