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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp Fred’g 21 May 1863

My dear Genl

Upon my return from Richmond I found your letter of the 13 awaiting me. Although separated from me I have always had you in my eye & thoughts. I wished for you much in the last battle, & believe had I had the whole army with me Genl Hooker would have been demolished. But God ordered otherwise.

I grieve much over the death of Genl Jackson. For our sakes not for his. He is happy & at peace. But his spirit lives with us. I hope it will arise up many Jacksons in our ranks. We must all do more than formerly. We must endeavor to follow the unselfish, devoted, intrepid Cause he pursued, & we shall be strengthened rather than be weakened by his loss. I rely much upon you. You must so inspire & lead your brave division, as that it may accomplish that work of a Corps. I agree with you as to the size of the Corps of this army. They are too large for the country we have to operate in for one man to handle. I saw all last campaign. I have endeavored to remedy it, this in a measure at least, but do not know whether I shall succeed. I am much obliged to you always for your opinion. I know you give it from pure motives. If I am not always convinced you must bear with me. I agree with you also in believing that our army would be invincible of it could be properly organized & officered. There never were such men in an army before. They will go anywhere & do anything if properly led. But there is the difficulty—proper Commanders. Where can they be obtained? But they are improving—constantly improving. Rome was not built in a day nor can we expect miracles in our favor.

Wishing you every health & happiness. Committing you to the Care of a Kind Providence, I am and always

Your friend

RE Lee

Gnl J. B. Hood, Commd Division



Source: The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood, edited by Stephen M. Hood, pp. 189-190

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 November 30

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