Lexington        3d Oct. 65


My dear Sir,

Henry handed me this morning your letter of the 12th Ulto. I am very glad he has returned to the college, & feel assured that he will devote himself to his studies & the acquisition of knowledge. It will give me peculiar pleasure to watch his progress & afford him such counsel as may be in my power. I understand his conduct the previous year was marked by good sense & judgement & that he exhibited a strong desire for improvement. His residence at Dr Pendletons will I hope ensure him against all temptations & I have no fear of his deviating from the path he has hitherto pursued. I have seen him several times since my arrival in Lexington & hope as soon as we get established that he will visit us often.

It is my desire to write a history of the campaigns in Va & I am endeavoring to collect the necessary information. All my papers records maps returns &c public & confidential were destroyed on the retreat from Petersburg & I cannot now say how I will proceed.

As it is my object to state nothing but the truth, I wish to be prepared with the proof in case of contradiction.

I have not seen Appletons publications which you mention but am glad to hear they are impartial in their account.

I understand in the July no. of the London Quarterly there is an article “on the close of the American war[”] which pretends to some truth, but I have not yet seen it. My hope is from that in the end truth will prevail

Give my best love to dear cousin Anne Mrs Lucy & Miss Anne.

With great regard most truly Yours

R. E. Lee





Source: Scan of original letter, The Papers of Robert E. Lee, 1830-1870, University of Virginia Special Collections, Charlottesville

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 4