• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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, Va., 29 Nov. 1866


Hon. L. N. Whittle1

Macon, Ga.

My Dear Sir:

I agree with you as to the importance of collecting authentic information in relation to the late war, while the events are fresh in the memories of those living, in order that a truthful history may be hereafter written.

I have thought that the Historical societies of each State could write more propriety, and perhaps write more convenience, do this, than individuals, so far as their own Commonwealths are concerned. I believe such societies existed in all the States before the war, and they might where necessary be reorganized under suitable officers, who would carefully collect and preserve authentic narratives of all subjects interesting to the State.

Their records would furnish well digested materiel for the future historian.

With great respect, yr. obdt svt

R. E. Lee




Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 738, pp. 1-2, Section 43, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 10 


1. Lewis Neale Whittle (1818-1886). He was a judge and commanded Bibb County militia during the Civil War. He also served in the Georgia legislature.    


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