• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Bunkershill [Bunker Hill, present-day West Virginia] 15 July ’63


The army has returned to Virga dear Mary. The return is rather sooner than I had originally contemplated, but having accomplished what I purposed on leaving the Rappk, viz: relieving the valley of the presence of the enemy & drawing his army north of the Potomac, I determined to recross the latter river. The enemy after concentrating his forces in our front began to fortify himself in his position, bring up his local troops, militia, &c & all those around Washington & Alexa. This gave him enormous odds. It also circumscribed our limits for procuring subce for men & animals, which with the uncertain stage of the river rendered it too hazardous for us to continue on the north side. It has been raining ever since we crossed the Potomac, making the roads horrid & embarrassing our operations. The night we recrossed it rained terribly. Had been raining during that day & previous days. Yet we got all over safe, save such vehicles as broke down on the road from the mud, rocks, &c. We are all well. I hope will yet be able to damage our adversaries when they meet us, & that all will go right with us. That it should be so, we must implore the forgiveness of God for our sins, & the Continuance of his blessings. There is nothing but his almighty power that Can sustain us. I hear that Mary has found you. I hope she is well. Give love to all. I have no time to write, & my pen or ink, or both, forbids my attempting more. God bless you all

Truly & affy

R E Lee




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 465, Section 23, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 February 22        

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