• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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., 24 Jany. 1867

Mr Edward A. Pollard

Care of L. T. Palmer & Co.

104 W. Baltimore St.

Baltimore, Md.


My Dear Sir

I receive so many letters in consequence of the insertion of my name by the publisher of your work, entitled the “Lost Cause,” in his list of references, that I must request you to have it removed. The letter from which he has published an extract without authority from me, was written previously to the publication of your history (12 Oct. ‘65), and was intended to convey to you my opinion of the manner in which a full and true account of the war would be received by the public, and to express the pleasure I felt that you were about to commence its history. I have felt so little desire to recall the events of the war since the cessation of hostilities, that I have not read a single work that has been published on the subject. I therefore can not express an opinion on their merits, and have been obliged to decline all applications for that purpose.

Very respectfully, yr. obdt. Svt.

R. E. Lee




Source: Photocopy of original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 738, pp. 17-18, Section 43, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 20

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