From the 7 May 1888 issue of The New York Times.


From the Baltimore Sun.

In the third year of the late war Gen. R. E. Lee was expected to cross the Potomac into Prince George’s County at the head of the Confederate army on its march to Pennsylvania. His friends and admireres in and around Marlborough determined to give him a cordial welcome and to celebrate the event by presenting him with some appropriate article to serve as a testimonial of their esteem and as a souvenir of his visit. The General and his army did not come, but his friens decided to give him the present and they collect $300 for that purpose. They concluded to spend the money in the purchase of solid gold, with morocco straps. The rowels were of steel, as sharp as a needle’s point. On the inside of each spur were engraved a Latin inscription signifying “Courage urges on” and the words “Presented to Gen. Robt. E. Lee” by his friends and admirers of P.G. Co., Md.” The difficult task of getting the spurs through the lines was assigned to a gentleman of Prince George’s, who now resides in Baltimore. He gave them to a blockade runner, and they had a narrow escape from falling into the hands of the enemy. He left them at the house of a friend while he went to another point in quest of other articles. During his absence the house was ransacked by a squad of Federal cavalrymen. The only occupant at the time was a lady, and when she saw the imminent peril of the precious spurs she thrust them into her dress and saved them. Accompanying the spurs was a note stating that they were the gift of Gen. Lee’s friends in Price George’s. No names were attached to the note, as the donors had no wish to make themselves liable to arrest in case of the capture of the spurs. The fear that he would get his friends into trouble deterred Gen. Lee from acknowledging the receipt of the spurs. After the war he visited Major Lee, and there met the friends who had remembered him so kindly. The spurs were not heard from again until a few months ago, when, with other relics of Gen. Lee, they were placed on exhibition in Richmond when the cornerstone to the monument to be erected to his memory was laid. The following letter in reference to the spurs has been received from Mr. R. E. Lee, son of Gen. Lee:

ROMANCOKE, WEST POINT, Va., April 9 1888.
Editor Baltimore Sun:

DEAR SIR: I have the “golden spurs.” They were given me by my mother after my father’s death. As I remember, she said that my father intended that I should have them. I recall that they were sent to him through the lines by “blockade” about the third year of the war. I had always understood that they were sent by the “ladies of Prince George’s County, Maryland,” but I see by the inscription, “Friends and Admirers.” They are very handsome, solid gold, medium size, and of the military type. The inscription on the inside of each spur is as follows: “Stimulos dedit Virtus. Presented to Gen. Robt. E. Lee by His Friends and Admirers of P.G. Co., Md.” The abbreviations are necessary on account of the space on the spurs. The rowels are of steel and the leathers good morocco, and the spurs are for service and not entirely for show. Whether Gen. Lee ever wore them I cannot tell, but should think not, unless it was on some review. Where he was when he received them I cannot recall; probably Col. W. H. Taylor of Norfolk, Va., could tell. I remember no incidents connected with the spurs but what I have told you. Twenty-three years ago to-day the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered. Very respectfully,

R. E. LEE.