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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Chaffin’s Bluff, January 24, 1865

Captain S. S. Lee,

                        Office of Orders and Detail:

            The torpedo had gotten afloat early this morning and is now with the fleet near Howlett’s. It was the Drewry and not the Nansemond that was blown up. I understand that she was set on fire by the enemy’s shells, and that her crew escaped before she blew up. Casualties in the fleet thus far – 1 man killed and 8 wounded. All of the vessels are now afloat and under Battery Dantzler; and the flag officer expects to go through the obstructions at high tide to-night. The Fredericksburg was returned and is now with the rest of squadron. I think the enemy is now trying to lay other obstructions little farther down the river. I have silenced Signal Hill battery.

W. L. Bradford,

Lieutenant, Commanding Battery Semmes.






Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 46, Part 2, p. 1130

Transcribed by Daniel Shevalier, 2018 June 1865

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