• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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., 2 March, 1867


Prof. John B. Minor

University of Va

Albermarle Co., Va.

My Dear Sir:

I recd this morning the address forwarded with your letter of the 28th inst., which I have signed, and return. I have not time to read it attentively, and hope, if you discover any mistakes, you will correct them, and then make the proper disposition of it.

I am very sorry to hear of your indisposition, but trust that you are now permanently relieved.

I have read the newspaper slip forwarded by Dr. Dabney, and have no knowledge of what transpired at Genl Grant’s Hd. Qrs. At the battles at the Wilderness, what is stated on that head may be true; but the writer is mistaken in what he relates of myself. I did not direct that the men should be allowed to sleep late, nor did I suppose that the Federal army had been “utterly defeated.” I did not begin to retrace my course, nor confess “to an artillery officer of the Confederate army,” or any other, that our “doom was sealed.” I saw that Genl Grant, abandoning his communications across the fords of the Rappahannock, was reopening them through Fredericksburg. Measures had been taken to oppose his advance to Spottsylvania [sic] C. House, and the army of N. Va. was prepared to resume the battle on the ground they held, or to renew it on any other.

What I have written is in answer to the inquiry of yourself and Dr. Dabney, not for refutation of the “romance.”

Very truly yrs.

(sgd.) R. E. Lee




Source: Photocopy of letter book, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 738, pp. 21-22, Section 43, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 March 2

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