Camp Fredg ‘63 11 Jany

 

I am delighted my dear Son at your Safe return to Richmond & to learn of your good health. Your letter which I have just recd also strengthens my hope of our ability to hold the Misspi. God grant that the integrity of the Confederacy may be thus preserved. I hope you will be able to do Something for the servants. I executed a deed of manumission, embracing all the names sent me by your mother & some that I recollected, but as I had nothing to refer to but my memory, I fear many are omitted. It was my desire to manumit all the people of your Grd father, whether present on the several estates or not. I believe your mother only Sent me the names of those present at the White House & Romankoke. Those that have left with the enemy, may not require their manumission. Still some may be found hereafter in the State, & at any rate I wished to give a complete list & to liberate all, to shew that your Grd Fathers wishes so far as I was Concerned had been fulfilled. Do you not think that is the best Course? If you Can get the Complete list you Can either have a deed drawn up embracing the whole, or a supplementary deed embracing those who have been omitted, stating they had been carried from the plantations by the enemy. Mr. Caskie says six men have been Sent to Mr Eacho by Mr Chas: Scott. viz Obediah, George, Wesly, Henry, Edward & oscar. The latter may be intended for Parks or Austin, but one of them is missing. Can you ascertain which & where he is. Harrison was hired to the Agent or Contractor on the Orange & Alexa R. R.

Can you find out where he is? I shall pay wages to Perry & retain him till he & I can do better. You can do the same with Billy. The rest that are hired out had better be furnished with their free papers & be let go. But what can be done with those at the White House & R___? Those at & about Arlington can take care of themselves I hope, & I have no doubt but that all are gone who desire to do so. At any rate I Can do nothing for them now. I am glad to receive the account of sales of the Coupons. Those due on the 1st Inst, you can retain as long as you think proper. I heard of Mary the yesterday by one of our scouts. She was well, but no written communications can pass between us now. Fitz & Rob are well. I saw them on their return from their last Scout. Their Camp is some 25 miles from me. I reviewed Fitz Lees brigade yesterday, & though it was raining & they had marched 14 miles, they made a very fine appearance & for their size presented the finest appearance of any cavy I have ever Seen. They were all comfortably clad. Their horses & equipments in good Condition & their exercises good. I want to review Fitzhughs this day week, if circumstances permit. Your friends are all well & send regards Baldwin you know is with me now. Remember me to all friends & believe me truly & devotedly

your father

R E Lee

 

 

P.S. John A. Crockford (I think)1 hired Harrison. When I last heard of him, he was living near Orange CtHouse.

 

 

1. Likely referring to John Crockford, a staff officer during the war. An engineer and native of England, Crockford moved to New Jersey and lived in Alexandria, Virginia, before the war. He rose to the rank of captain. He was married to Ellen Winham Crockford (1814-1897), whom he married in 1835.

 

 

Source: Transcribed from digital scan of original letter, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 September 6