Five years after the discovery of two wooden trunks containing letters and other writings by Gen. Robert E. Lee, the Virginia Historical Society is making most of the materials available to researchers.
The trunks also contained legal papers, travel souvenirs, financial records and small artifacts that were collected by Lee's eldest daughter, Mary Custis Lee. They were found at Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. in Alexandria in 2002.
The writings cover the Civil War, his time on the Texas frontier before the war and his presidency of Washington College (now Washington & Lee) in Lexington, Va., after the war. The collection's oldest item dates to 1694.