• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 Orange Ct H 4 Sept ‘63

You see I am still here dear Mary. When I last wrote the indications were that the enemy would move against us any day, but this past week he has been very quiet & seems at present disposed to continue so. I was out looking at him yesterday from Clarkes Mt[1]: He has spread himself over a large surface & looks immense, but I hope will not prove as formidable as he looks. He has I believe been sending off some of his troops to reinforce Rosecrans but has been getting up others, among them several negro regts[2]: are reported, & I can discover no diminution. I am glad you have procured a house & I hope you will all be Contented & happy. I shall be very glad to visit you when I can, but when that will be I cannot say. I have been suffering ever since my last visit to Richmond from a heavy cold taken in the hot & badly ventilated rooms in the various depts: which resulted in an attack of rheumatism in my back, which has given me great pain & anxiety for if I cannot get relief I do not see what is to become of me. I had at one time to go about a great deal & the motion of my horse was extremely painful & so much so that I took to a spring wagon but the stony roads I had to traverse, made the motion of the wagon almost as bad. I think to day I am better. I rode to church this morg on horseback & was surprized to experience so little pain &mounted & dismounted with comparative ease. The Dr gave me some lotion, which I applied faithfully a week to the almost excoriation of the back without apparent benefit. I hope though it is passing away. I wish I had daughters back here to apply it to, it might do it service. How are those poor little girls? I am so sorry to hear of Charlottes suffering. I suspect she only thinks herself sick, & it is merely the desire to her Fitzhugh or her Papa. Tell her to cheer up we shall get her Fitzhugh back soon. Mr Ould says they are better disposed now for exchange of prisoners than they have ever been. I hope Genl Bragg has taken some officers of note, which will help the matter amazingly. Genl Wickham still continues in the service but I fear is getting tired of it. I am sorry that the approach of cold weather increases your pain. Bryan comforts me with the assurance that Oct: is the worst month in the year for rheumatism, so I am in hope that both of us may improve. I saw Rob day before yesterday. He was well. I sent him your letter which was enclosed in the one to me. I have not a word of news. The army is pretty well. We are getting some new corn for our horses, which helps us amazingly, & we shall have bread & meat for the men. The latter are sadly in need of clothes shoes & blankets. I am hopes they will be some what relieved by the Contributions of Miss Buford & my daughters. Remember me very kindly to the Capt: & all the family. Give much love to the girls & Charlotte

& believe me always yours

R E Lee 


Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 475, Section 23, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 August 23


[1] Lee spells it "Clarkes Mt.," but he is referring to Clark’s Mountain in Orange County, Virginia.

[2] In July of 1863, Rosecrans began organizing black regiments in Tennessee.

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