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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Head Quarters Army No. Va

March 19th 1863.

Lt. Gen. J. Longstreet

Comdg &c


On my arrival here yesterday I learned that the cavalry force of the Enemy which crossed at Kellys Ford had subsequently retired, and that the reported attempt to force a passage at the United States Ford had not been made. I therefore send a telegram to Gen’l Cooper requesting that the divisions ordered up here might be stopped and returned to their previous positions.

I need not remind you that it will be necessary to maintain great vigilance in your front as well as here, and to hold the troops at both points ready to cooperate whenever it is correctly ascertained where their attack of the enemy will fall.

I hope you will be able to act on the suggestions contained in my letter from Richmond, relative to obtaining all the supplies possible of forage & subsistence from N. Carolina & turn all the Energies of your Dept in that direction.

With great respect Your Obt Servt

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, not in Lee’s handwriting but signed by Lee, Cutts-Madison Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 March 18

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