• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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., 3 April, 1867.

Genl. J. E. Johnston

Selma, Alabama.

My Dear General:

I can not recall the correspondence to which you refer in your letter of the 25th ult., and wish the letters were at my disposal; I would send them to you. I recollect a report from Maj. (subsequently Maj. Genl.) Whiting, then on your staff, describing the position of Harpers Ferry, & showing the advanc which the heights on the opposite banks of the Potomac & Shenandoah would give an attacking enemy, but am under the impression it was sent to the War Dept. in Richmond.

I recollect being present at the discussion, in Richmond in the Spring of 1862, which you mention, and believe that you were fully sensible of all the difficulties of meeting Genl. McClellan’s advances up the Peninsula, and that you were not at the time favorably impressed with Magruders line, but I do not recollect that you prepared a plan of operations instead.

I very much regret the revival of these questions now, as I do not think it will produce good.

I hope that Mrs Johnston and yourself have felt the benefit of the mild climate of the South the past winter, and that the health of both has been improved.

Very truly yours

(sgd) R. E. Lee



Source: Photocopy of letterbook copy, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 738, p. 31, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 6

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