A Guide to the Robert Edward Lee Collection, 1858-1868, 1883
Born to Henry Lee and Ann Hill in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870), attended West Point from 1825 to 1829. In 1831, he married and had seven children with Mary Ann Randolph Curtis, a descendant of George Washington’s mother. Initially appointed as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Lee fought in several engagements during the 1850s. Although against the secession of Virginia, Lee was offered the command of the Confederate Army after General Joseph Johnston was wounded in battle of Seven Pines in 1862. After assuming command of the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee engaged Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac despite being outnumbered on a number of occasions. Eventually succumbing to Grant, he surrendered on April 9, 1865. Following the war, Lee returned to his home in Richmond and served as president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University). He died on October 12, 1870, and is buried in Lexington, Virginia.
Heiser, John. "General Robert Edward Lee." Gettysburg National Military Park. Last modified September 1998. http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/sidebar/leebio.htm.
Comprised of photostats and typescripts of correspondence as well as original letters, the Robert Edward Lee Collection, 1858-1868, 1883, documents Lee’s activities during the Civil War and the founding of the Stonewall Jackson Institute. Several letters from Lee to Louis T. Wigfall concern Texas regiments during the war, while an 1859 letter to Sam Houston regards troops on the Rio Grande. Three letters, sent by Lee to William O. Winston between 1858 and 1860, regard the employment of six slaves from his father-in-law’s estate.
Additionally, the collection contains Lee’s farewell address, an 1868 letter discussing the publication of Lee’s father’s “Memoirs,” and a scrapbook containing photostats of correspondence, clippings and brochures.
This collection is open for research use.
Robert Edward Lee Collection, 1858-1868, 1883, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers