<br /> Lee Letter: b232

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Arthur Lee

My dear Brother,

Having just written largely to Mr. Izard and inclosed him my last letters & Intelligence from the Marquis Fayette I refer you to him for an accurate knowledge of our present state – The enemy are within 30 miles of Fredericksbg. & our army a little above them on their left flank but too weak to approach – No news of the Pennsylva. Line. We shall receive all the injury possible before aid is sent to us – What will become of these lower parts heaven knows – We and our property here are now within the power of the enemy – Greater objects may perhaps, carry them upwards, but our situation is a very disagreeable one – We just hear that 1700 men have landed in Gloucester county – some of the last arrived reinforcement I suppose, as the chief part of that at Portsmouth – The enemies design seems to be by great distress and much delusion to bring over the minds of the people – it must be confessed that they have the fairest opportunity, for we have no press in the country, we have received next to no assistance from our Sister States or from our Ally, whilst our vetran regulars have been all sacrificed in the common cause, and a considerable part of our force, being the greatest part of Gen. Green’s strength, now in S. Carolina –

The people feel their pressures, find themselves abandoned, and they are exposed to the infinite acts & fraud of our enemies and of our internal Tories – The consequences may be very unpleasing to sound & sensible Whiggism. Shew this to Colo. Bland & it will surely rouse him to exert all his powers in Congress to procure us assistance & that which may be effectual – The enemy affect to leave harmless the poor & they take everything from those they call the rich – Tis said that 2 or 3000 negroes march in their train, that every kind of Stock which they cannot remove they destroy – eating up the green wheat & by destroying of the fences, expose to destruction the other growing grains – they have burnt a great number of Warehouses full of Tobo. and they are now pressing on to the large ones on Rappahanock & Potomac rivers and the valuable iron works in our northern parts. –

The fine horses on James river have furnished them with a numerous and powerful Cavalry – ’tis said to consist of 800 – I hope that these afflictions are intended to do away some of our overcharge of wickedness, and that we shall be relieved in due season –

Cornwallis is the Scourge – & a severe one he is – The doings of more than a year in the South arc undoing very fast, whilst they rush to throw ruin into other parts.

I have got your keys from Richmond – Half of our Militia is this day to be drafted for the Marquis, but how to get at him I know not, as the enemy are between us and him – Affectionately and Sincerely yours farewell –

Richard Henry Lee

P.S. If you should get Mr. Parker’s money he is willing that you should apply a part of it to getting Miss Matildas things – My Bark is almost gone & then – I shall go too –

Notes:

Leffingwell CollectionVirginia Historical Society

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 229 – 31. Addressed to Arthur Lee “in Philadelphia” and conveyed by Colonel Loyeauté.