Henrietta B. Lee letter on a slave in Hedgesville fight 1861

16thVA

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Location
Philadelphia
I've seen several of Mrs. Lee's letters selling on Ebay the past few weeks, though I was interested in them I don't have the spare change to indulge. This one has an unusual content and I thought it would interest a few people here. Unfortunately, there is a sheet missing so the story stops abruptly, but here it is.

Addressing "My Dear Husband" [Edmund Jennings Lee], the author writes in part:
"I received a letter from you yesterday evening, it had been so long since you left I was feeling anxious & uneasy, especially as we never hear anything reliable from your quarter of the State. We are expecting a great battle today near Martinsburg. The Yankees are in the town 20 thousand strong. Our forces are about 7 miles from Martinsburg in about equal numbers. From what we can learn Gen. Johnston‘s plan is to draw them from the town (?) as far as possible which will enable him to cut off their retreat. The Yankees have heavy cannon planted on the Maryland side. We had a brush with them a few days ago, the accounts vary so much it is hard to separate truth from fiction ..."
Clearly lacking an unknown amount of additional text but leaving a poignant impression, the letter abruptly ends on page four:
"Instead of sending you the Sun which is full of lies I will give you some particulars of the fight at Hedgesville (?) which is between Martinsburg and ______. Pa learned the facts from Mr. Pendleton [General William N. Pendleton, CSA] himself whose artillery were engaged. The enemy's cannon balls went entirely over the heads of our people and truly no body was hurt but Pendleton’s grape made a distinct road through the Yankee columns and we claim to have killed at the very least 200 and we know we have more than 40 prisoners. A Negro belonging to the De Butts of Loudoun killed one Yankee and took one prisoner, the story is very amusing as Charles told Pa - but rather long to relate at present, suffice it to say after discharging his gun and killing one, with the empty gun close to the breast of the other, he ordered …"

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338579798&icep_item=324003261279
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I've seen several of Mrs. Lee's letters selling on Ebay the past few weeks, though I was interested in them I don't have the spare change to indulge. This one has an unusual content and I thought it would interest a few people here. Unfortunately, there is a sheet missing so the story stops abruptly, but here it is.



http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338579798&icep_item=324003261279

Thanks for posting. I'd Like to see the missing page and the "end of that story"! Here's something similar from the OR.

 

16thVA

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Location
Philadelphia
Thanks for posting. I'd Like to see the missing page and the "end of that story"! Here's something similar from the OR.


Yes, I would like to know the rest of the story too. The person who is selling the letter had several others of Mrs. Lee's letters, you can probably find them in the "sold" search function on Ebay, there were two that had interesting content. She is the author of the famous letter to Gen. David Hunter after he burned her house down.

There is another story related in "Yanks from the South" by Fritz Haselberger where he tells the story of a slave cook who deliberately fed a wounded Union prisoner food that would kill him.

Here are the other two letters from Mrs. Lee

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338579798&icep_item=352871084357

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338579798&icep_item=352869902568
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I've seen several of Mrs. Lee's letters selling on Ebay the past few weeks, though I was interested in them I don't have the spare change to indulge. This one has an unusual content and I thought it would interest a few people here. Unfortunately, there is a sheet missing so the story stops abruptly, but here it is.



http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338579798&icep_item=324003261279

 

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