Tag Archives: Virginia

A letter from Robert E. Lee to his wife

July 12, 1863
Robert E. Lee

The consequences of war are horrid enough at best, surrounded by all the ameliorations of civilization and Christianity.  I am very sorry for the injuries done the family at Hickory Hill, and particularly that our dear old Uncle Williams, in his eightieth year, should be subjected to such treatment.  But we cannot help it, and must endure it.  You will, however, learn before this reaches you that our success at Gettysburg was not so great as reported–in fact, that we failed to drive the enemy from his position, and that our army withdrew to the Potomac.  Had the river not unexpectedly risen, all would have been well with us; but God, in His all-wise providence, willed otherwise, and our communications have been interrupted and almost cut off.  The waters have subsided to about four feet, and, if they continue, by tomorrow, I hope, our communications will be open.  I trust that a merciful God, our only hope and refuge, will not desert us in this hour of need, and will deliver us by His almighty hand, that the whole world may recognise His power and all hearts be lifted up in adoration and praise of His unbounded loving-kindness.  We must, however, submit to His almighty will, whatever that may be.  May God guide and protect us all is my constant prayer.

Source

Questions for consideration:

  1. In this letter, what concerns seem to be weighing on Lee’s mind?
  2. Is his assessment of the battle at Gettysburg accurate?

The New Constitution: For and Against

The 1787 convention in Philadelphia created a document (the Constitution) which would radically reshape the United States. Establishing a “federal” system in which the central government held a great deal more authority than under the Articles of Confederation. Divided into executive (embodied in the President), legislative (Congress), and judicial (the federal courts), the new system gave what its authors asserted were clearly defined and limited powers to the federal government.

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The Chesapeake: Class Conflict

 Bacon’s Rebellion, a Virginia uprising led by Nathaniel Bacon in 1676, was an example of the growing class divisions in the colonial Chesapeake as well as the continuing conflict between Native American tribes and the Virginians. This document details the rebels’ demands.

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John Smith and Jamestown

John Smith (1580-1631) was one of the leaders of Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America. His background was in soldiering more than managing, but his imposition of strict discipline brought stability to Jamestown in its early years.

This excerpt from Smith’s account of the founding of Jamestown and the Virginia colony describes the “Starving Time” which occurred during the winter of 1609-1610.

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