EXTREMELY FINE. A REMARKABLE AND RARE ROBERT E. LEE FIELD LETTER AND COVER TO GENERAL RICHARD S. EWELL, ORDERING HIM NOT TO SEND MAJOR CRITTENDEN INTO CULPEPER, VIRGINIA.
The letter reads:
Genl, I dislike to send Major Crittenden into Culpepper. If captured, it would be extremely unpleasant & they would treat him different from our other scouts. He had better not go. He is bold & fearless & would expose himself I fear.
I will consider about the transportation -- there is nothing new since I wrote this mng.
R. E. Lee
Robert E. Lee's letters sent from the field were enclosed in envelopes signed "R. E. Lee Genl", as seen here. The letters and other important papers were carried by military courier, often to Richmond to another officer under Lee's command, and in this case to the headquarters of General Richard S. Ewell. It was surmised by Charles Kilbourne that this was written in the days before the Battle of Cedar Mountain (Aug. 9, 1862) which took place in Culpeper County, Virginia. General Ewell at that time commanded a division under General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Field covers from Lee, when they appear at auction, are normally bereft of their contents. This is an extremely rare and desirable combination of cover and letter.
Ex Bogg. With 1966 certificate of authenticity from Gordon T. Banks