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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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


 

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Office of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad Company

 

New Orleans November 25 1865

My Dear General:

I take advantage of the Kind offer of Capt Kichern Royal Engrs, to send, as requested by you, copies of some of my public letters, telegrams and reports, as per list herewith, they do not refer to operations in Virginia alone, for I have here only a part of my books and papers, but I have thought that you would be pleased to receive copies of my most important or interesting ones in order to have a clearer knowledge of operations in other parts of the Confederacy.

You are indebted to a young lady of this City, Miss Blanche Bernard (a cousin of mine) for the copies on foolscap I send you; I told her that I would inform you of the fact as a partial recompense for her trouble and patience.

As soon as I can get the balance of the books and papers which refer to the Virginia operations, I will send you whatever correspondence may be of assistance or interest to you.

I regret to say that I have not yet succeeded in obtaining the private baggage of myself and two sons, and my books and papers relative to the defence of Charleston, seized in May last by a part of Wilson’s1 cavalry near Athens, Ga. and sent to Washington by order of Mr Staunton [sic], in direct violation of the terms of agreement between Generals Johnston and Sherman.

I fully agree with you in the sentiments contained in your letter, relative to our present and future course; but I think our duty to our States, before the war, was equally plain. We appealed to arms for the settlement of those two vexed questions of Secession and Slavery, we must never either accept the decision made, or quit the Country. I had at first some idea of adapting the latter course, in consequence of the conduct of the War Department, relative to the seizure of my baggage as above stated; but on reflection, and through the entreaties of my friends, I concluded, that my duty to the South required that I should remain. May the shades of our deceased companions pardon me if I have erred in this decision.

Wishing you health and prosperity

I remain, Dear General, Very sincerely Yours,

G. T. Beauregard

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, DeButts-Ely Collection of Lee Papers, Library of Congress

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 August 29    

 

 

 

1. James H. Wilson (1837-1925), an Illinois general who raided manufacturing facilities in Alabama and Georgia in March and April of 1865. He fought at Franklin, and he was one of the few Union commanders to have won victories against Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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