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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Lexington            3d Oct. 65


My dear Sir,

Henry handed me this morning your letter of the 12th Ulto. I am very glad he has returned to the college, & feel assured that he will devote himself to his studies & the acquisition of knowledge. It will give me peculiar pleasure to watch his progress & afford him such counsel as may be in my power. I understand his conduct the previous year was marked by good sense & judgement & that he exhibited a strong desire for improvement. His residence at Dr Pendletons will I hope ensure him against all temptations & I have no fear of his deviating from the path he has hitherto pursued. I have seen him several times since my arrival in Lexington & hope as soon as we get established that he will visit us often.

It is my desire to write a history of the campaigns in Va & I am endeavoring to collect the necessary information. All my papers records maps returns &c public & confidential were destroyed on the retreat from Petersburg & I cannot now say how I will proceed.

As it is my object to state nothing but the truth, I wish to be prepared with the proof in case of contradiction.

I have not seen Appletons publications which you mention but am glad to hear they are impartial in their account.

I understand in the July no. of the London Quarterly there is an article “on the close of the American war[”] which pretends to some truth, but I have not yet seen it. My hope is from that in the end truth will prevail

Give my best love to dear cousin Anne Mrs Lucy & Miss Anne.

With great regard most truly Yours

R. E. Lee




Source: Scan of original letter, The Papers of Robert E. Lee, 1830-1870, University of Virginia Special Collections, Charlottesville

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 4


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