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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



R. F. D. no 5

Roanoke Va

Aug. 31st [ca. 1899-1918]


Dear Mrs. Lee,1

I fear you think I have forgotten my promise to send you a copy of General Lee’s letter. I have had it type-written and am only writing to get a copy of a letter written in /63 to Mrs. M. F. Bragg of this city, at that time a little girl. Her father Maj. Pitzer2 was on Gen. R. E. Lee’s staff. I thought it might interest you to have the enclosed copy of a letter from Mrs. Lee.

At the time I wrote the invitation from my father to General Lee, Mrs Lee and her daughters were in Redford City, then known as Liberty, not more than 25 miles away. It has always been a disappointment not to have had the privilege and pleasure of entertaining the family of our beloved leader. We lived at Elmwood, then the site of the present town. Elmwood stands to-day, perhaps you may have noticed it, in passing by on the car. My father B. T. Tinsley3 was the same Mr Tinsley referred to in John Wise’s book, The New Era.4 He was too old to enter the army and my only brother too young, but I afterwards met and married a Texas soldier5 who served four years under Lee, so of course you know that I share the undying love and admiration for Lee,6 the man as well as soldier. I endorse the letter just copied by my daughter from the one Mrs. Bragg rec. Excuse this lengthy epistle, but when a person who has lived through the wars, gets started it is hard to stop.

Hoping to meet you again some day.


Mary Tinsley Kindred

Mrs. E. T. Kindred

R. F. D. no 5

Roanoke Va



1. Mary (1844-1934) was a native of Lynchburg, Virginia. .

2. Andrew Lewis Pitzer (1827-1896), born in Salem, Virginia. Attended VMI. Wounded in 1861, served on the staff of Jubal Early. He died in Roanoke and is buried in Salem, Virginia. Mrs. Bragg was Mary Waugh Pitzer Bragg, who died in 1914. She was married to Millard Fillmore Bragg (1857-1921).   

3. Benjamin Talbot Tinsley (1813-1880), born in Franklin County, Virginia. He married Emeline Sydney Trent (1824-1892).

4. Elisha Thomas Kindred (1839-1904) was a native of Alabama. He joined the 4th Texas Infantry regiment (Mustang Grays) and became captain in April 1863. In 1864, he married Mary Treat Tinsley Kindred (1844-1936).

5. The End of an Era; the 1899 book, written by John S. Wise (1846-1913), the son of Governor Henry a Wise. The book references Peter Tinsley.

6. The 4th Texas Infantry was one of three regiments in Robert E. Lee’s (1807-1870) Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia.



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 g 116-122, Section 13, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 July 18


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