<br /> Lee Letter: v062

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Edward C. Turner

My dear Edward,

I have the most melancholy tidings to communicate. Our friend Col. John A. Washington yesterday met his death by the fire from the enemy’s picket. He accompanied my son Fitshugh on a reconnoitering expedition & I fear was carried too far by his zeal for the cause of the south which he had so much at heart. Before they were aware they were fired upon by a concealed party who fired about 40 shots at four men. He was the only person struck and fell dead from his horse. Three bullets went through Fitzhugh’s horse. The horse of one of the men was killed. F. mounted Col. W’s horse and brought off his sword. The spot where the Col fell was in range of the enemy’s cannon – I rec – d his body through the courtesy of the Commanding Genrl of the troops under a flag of truce this morning & now forward it to Manassas Junction where I hope you will meet it & have it interred as his family desire.

His death is a grevious affliction to me, but what must it be to his bereaved children and distressed relatives. The country has met with a great loss in his death. Our enemy’s have stamped their attack upon our rights, with additional infamy & by killing the lineal descendant and representative of him who under the guidance of Almighty God established them & by his virtues rendered our Republic immortal. I enclose a note for his daughter. May God have mercy on them all.

Truly & affty yours.

R. E. Lee

Edward C. Turner


Lee PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives