Robert E. Lee, Jr., to Joseph Bryan (1845-1908)


West Point Va Feb 3d 1906


My dear Joe

I rejoice with you in finding again what is left of his sword. I presume you can have it restored. I think you could find out from the ordnance Department U S army what pattern the sword filled as I remember. I was told that it was a dress sword of an Engineer officer, pre & up to the Mexican War & including the same. My brother Custis could tell you more about it than I can. I remember seeing the sword when I was a little boy. But never saw my father wear it. When I attended the military School at UVa in summer of /61 & was made an officer of the Corps, my father sent me that sword. I think I asked him for it. When I joined the Army in March /62 I gave his sword to Chaps Maupin.1 I could not carry it away with me, & had no place to house it. Besides I was very fond of Chaps, and I knew that he had a place at home to leave it, when he should go away. There must be a record of that class of sword in the ordnance Dep. At some of the armorers they have collections of all arms ever used by the Army.

Hoping you will succeed in having it restored

I am very truly

R E Lee




1. Chapman Maupin (1847-1900), a graduate of the University of Virginia who later enlisted in the Confederate army.



Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L5151 a 2, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 9