Camp Fredg 28 Feb ‘63

My dear Son

                        I have recd  your note of the 23rd & am very much obliged to you for getting the cloth. As soon as you Can have the pants made I will be obliged to you if you will send them up, provided you do not hear I am Coming down. Upon reflection keep the pants till you hear from me, but have them made as soon as you can. The rest of the cloth retain. I am very much obliged to Capt. Ferguson1 for his offer to have an overcoat made for me. But my old Blue will serve me yet awhile. I think you had better have yourself one made. For as far as I recollect yours is lost. I owe you now $28 for cloth & $25 for vest- $53. If you have not been able to collect any money of Mr. Eacho, I will send you a check for amt. Have you heard anything of Harrison, Reuben or Parks? I have no news. We have mud up to our eyes. River very high. Enemy seems very strong by our front. Cannot ascertain yet what he is going to do, unless it is to remain as he is till better weather, then push his Columns now at New Ports news up James river, thus Cause us to fall back & then to move his army now in the Rappk across the river. Seems to be his best place. Must try & defeat it. To do this will require our regts to be filled up. Can you devise any place to get the laggards out? Give much love to your Mother & Agnes. Have not heard from My precious life since 1 Jany. I wrote to the Pres: account of Fitz Lee & Fitzhugh’s handsome Conduct. I am very glad to learn that he is able to attend his office again. You see the Federal Cong has put the whole power of their country into the hands of their Pres:. Nine hundred millions of dollars & three millions of men. Nothing now can arrest during the present administration the most desolating war that was ever practiced, except a revolution among their people. Nothing can produce a revolution except systematic success on our part. What has our Cong done to meet the exigency. I must Say extremity in which we are placed. As far as I Know, Concocted bills to excuse a certain class of men from taking service, & to transfer another class in service, out of active service where they hope never to do service. Among the thousand applications of Kentuckians, Missourians, Mary, Alab, Georg, S. Carolinians, &c., &c., to join native regts out of this army, who ever heard of their applying to enter regts in it when in the face of the enemy? I hope Cong will define what makes a man a citizen of a state. For some apply for regts of states in which they were born, when it suits their purpose, while others apply for regiments of states in which they live, or have married, or visited, or where they have relatives when it suits their purpose, but never where the regts of these states are in active service. Genl Fitz Lee has reached his camp in Culpepper with 150 prisoners, including 5 Commis& 10 non Commiss” officers, taken in his recent fight. Had to leave behind his wounded six or eight (one Sergt. Davis 2nd regt mortally). Genl W. E. Jones reports that 2 regts: Fedl Cavy drove in his pickets on the 26th. He fell upon them with small force, cut them up badly, captured 200 prisoners with horses & equipments. His loss 4 wounded (2 mortally). Please read to the Pres: these items. Have not time to write another letter before mail closes. Cannot Genl Wigfall do something for us with Cong? Your father

            RE Lee




1. James Boswell Ferguson (1822-1896), a native of Richmond, who worked in the quartermaster’s department and sent Lee the uniform he wore at Appomattox Court House.



Source: Transcribed from scan of original letter, The Papers of Robert E. Lee, 1749-1975, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 July 31