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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Near Petersburg 3 Feby ‘65

My dear Mary

                I have recd your note of the 1st. I am very much obliged to Mr Mead[1] for the trouble he has taken in relation to the Lee Genealogy. I have no desire to have it published & do not think it would afford sufficient interest beyond the immediate family, to compensate for the expense. I think the money had better be applied to relieve the poor.

                I send you the memo: of socks recd by Major Janny[2]. There was one pair less than you stated. The bag was returned yesterday during my absence or I should have written. I return the Photographs as you desire. I do not see the advantage however of sending to me to be returned. I heard from Fitzhugh & Rob yesterday all well. I grieve on the death of my darling little Niece[3]. How our pleasures in life go out. A bright joyous & affectionate spirit has left us. May God have mercy on us & make us ready & anxious to follow her. I did not write the sad news to the boys, or impart it to Mrs Pegram whom I met yesterday at a review of Pegrams division. I had not the heart. She looked very happy & said she was having splendid times. Long may it last. I can hardly see. Give much to my dear daughters.

Very affly & truly

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 565, Section 29, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 July 24


[1] Edward Campbell Mead (1837-1908), wrote Genealogical History of the Lee Family of Virginia and Maryland from A.D. 1300 to A.D. 1866, published in 1868.

[2] Eli Hamilton Janney (1831-1912) from Loudoun County, Virginia. He married Cornelia Hamilton (1833-1889). Janney served on Lee’s staff, and lived in Alexandria after the war.

[3] Mary Childe Hoffman was born in Paris in 1841. She was the daughter of Edward Vernon Childe (b. 1804) & Malinda Katherine Lee. Mary married Robert Hoffman in Baltimore in 1859, they had no children.

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