Friday, November 22, 2013

General Robert E. Lee to Colonel Fitzhugh Lee, July 15, 1862

HEADQUARTERS, July 15, 1862.

My Dear Fitz:

I have just received your letter of the 13th. I am very sorry to hear of the sufferings of the wounded prisoners, and wish I could relieve them. I proposed to General McClellan on Tuesday, before the battle of that day, to parole and send to him all his wounded if he would receive them. Since that the arrangement has been made, and the sick and wounded are now being conveyed to him. This will relieve them very much, and enable us to devote our attention to those retained. In addition, the enemy has at last agreed to a general exchange of all prisoners of war, and Generals Dix and D. H. Hill are to meet tomorrow to commence the negotiations. I hope in this way much relief will be afforded; at first the hospitals were overtaxed, men could not be had to bury the dead, and the sufferings of all were increased. Friend Clitz ought to recollect that this is a matter of his own seeking, and he has only to blame himself. I will still be happy to do for him all I can, and will refer your letter to the director of the hospital if I can find him. Your loving uncle,

R. E. LEE.

[Editors Note: Fitzhugh Lee at the date of this writing the Colonel of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, on July 25, 1862 he was nominated to the rank of Brigadier General.  His nomination was confirmed on September 30, 1862 and his rank oas Brigadier General was backdated to July 24, 1862.]

SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 185-6

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