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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

January 20, 1863


Hon. James A. Seddon,

Secretary of War:


Sir: The chief commissary of this army, Colonel Cole, proposes to exchange with citizens of the adjacent counties sugar for bacon, or other meat, to be issued to the troops in lieu of the sugar now proposed as a component part of the ration. In the counties of Greene, Madison, and Culpeper it is believed that a good deal of salt meat is retained by the citizens for their domestic use, which they would be tempted to part with. They now have to pay $1.25 per pound for sugar, and bacon costs 35 cents per pound. If we could exchange one pound sugar for two of bacon, even, it would be a saving to the Government and a gain to the army. Major Hill, of the commissary department, and a citizen of Culpeper, thinks that by offering sugar in small quantities at a time, many thousand pounds of bacon can be obtained from that county alone.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,





January 22, 1863

Referred to Commissary-General, with the sanction of this Department.

By order of the Secretary of War:

J. A. Campbell,

Assistant Secretary of War




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 21, p. 1101

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 March 9     

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