A Letter From R. E. Lee to G. W. C. Lee


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Feb 20, 2005
Right here.
Near Petersburg 13 Decr 64

My dear Son

I have been expecting to See you for some weeks, but each day that I have appointed to return to the N. Side of the James river, some movement of the enemy has occurred or some rumour of a projected movement has reached me, to prevent. Yesterday week I had directed our caravan to be prepared to move the next morg, but during the night or rather before day this day week, I heard of their last move down the plank road, & had to put our troops in motion. We succeeded in arresting them at the Meheren [sic] & turning them back. Their route of retreat was due East in direction of Jerusalem & Sussex Ct H__, & thus their infy got out of our way, & we Could only strike their rear guard of Cavy. The weather was wretched, & I fear our men & animals suffered much. The enemy reached their camps last night & our men are coming in this morg. Their prisoners stated they were going to Weldon, & I suppose were bound on a distant mission as they carried beef Cattle & a long train of wagons. Their trains &c were all East of their route of march. We did them little harm I fear. They destroyed about six miles of R. R., so the sup[erintenden]t reports, & burned some small bridges. During this operation they attempted to turn our right flank, & to reach Dinwiddie CtH. In this they also failed. I do not know what they will attempt next.

I have a nice pair of woolen gloves, gauntlet shaped, which may keep you warm this cold weather. If you want them will send them up. If you do not, let me know. I have my fur. I am afraid you will ruin my character with the young ladies, & may cause that of the family for fidelity to be suspected. Several of them wishing, I suppose, to see how they would like me as a father in law, have requested my photographs, which I have promised, & have relied on those you were to have sent me. Not one has ever reached me, & I am taxed with breach of promise. See what a strait you have placed me in. Robt got here tuesday & I had to forward him next tuesday on Ajax. He had I fear a disagreable ride as it rained all day. I hope you & your men are Comfortable & that every thing is well with you. Have you been able to pole your road through that slushy wood?

God bless you & keep you my dear Son, is the daily prayer of your affectionate


R E Lee

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