• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Lexington, Va,

15 July, 1879


Genl. James Longstreet,

Gainesville, Ga.

Dear Sir:

In answer to your letter of the 9th inst., I will try to give you my recollection of what my father said to me on the subject in question.

In speaking of the fighting in “The Wilderness, regretting that more troops were not up the first day, and explaining the absence of your corps, he went on to say that, after the expedition through Tennessee, by which it had been considerably battered, it had been was placed near Gordonsville to have the use of the two rail-roads in getting ready for the approaching campaign; that when there were evidences of the enemy’s preparing to advance, not wishing to take the 1st Corps from the rail-road until the last moment, he sent you an Engineer officer, well acquainted with the country to be in readiness to guide you to your position at the proper time; that this guide was told that his services were not needed, and sent away; that when the Corps was ordered out, it took the wrong road and reached a point on it not very far across the country from that at which it was wanted; that it went back to Gordonsville, or nearly there, to get on the right road, and consequently did not get in position until the second day; that it was advancing very handsomely when your wound checked the movement. I don’t think the name of the guide was mentioned; if it was, I have forgotten it. I should think it might be obtained from Col. Walter Taylor, or some other officer about army Head Quarters at that time. Am sorry that I am not able to furnish it.

Yr. obdt, Svt

G. W. C. Lee



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Helen M. Taylor, Mss1 T2144 a, Section 6, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 May 3         

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