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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Hd.Qrs. Army No. Va

Feby 20th 1863.


Mrs. Lucy L. Temple1

I have received your letter of the date asking the discharge of your son.

I regret to state that it is not in my power to comply with your request, the regulations of the War Department prohibiting the granting of discharges, to young men subject to military duty who are desirous of entering the Military Institute, on that plea only. Your son is now in an excellent school of practice, and can by devoting to his books the time not demanded by military duties, advance himself in military knowledge more rapidly than at the Institute.

Very Respy Your ObtSert

R E Lee  



1. Lucy Lilly Robinson Temple (1807-1887). The son in question in this letter is likely Ludwell Robinson Temple (1846-1876), who later enlisted in the 9th Virginia cavalry regiment.




Source: Photocopy of original letter, written by an aide to Robert E. Lee, call number 25063, Library of Virginia, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 October 12

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