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Mary Greenhow Lee Papers

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society

P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17

1182 WFCHS

Inventory created by Archives Staff 03/1997. Last revised 11/2021.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS: Collection is open to all researchers.

USE RESTRICTIONS: Restrictions may apply concerning the use, photoduplication, or publication of items in this collection. Consult a member of the archives staff for information concerning these restrictions. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. Note: This collection may not be copied in its entirety without permission of the Joint Archives Committee.

EXTENT: .63 linear feet

DATE: 1819-1996; bulk 1862-1865

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The Mary Greenhow Lee Papers collection contains a typescript of Ms. Lee's Civil War. The diary contains daily entries for the period from March 11, 1862 to November 17, 1865, with the exception of September 1-2, 1862 and November 9-16, 1865. The diary contains a detailed account of Winchester, Virginia during the Civil War, 1861-1865, including major battles and Union occupation of the town. The diary notes Mrs. Lee’s support to the Confederate cause, along with frank estimates of Confederate leaders.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: Mary Charlton Greenhow Lee (1819-1907), daughter of Robert Greenhow (1800-1854) and Mary Jane Charlton Greenhow, was born in Richmond, Virginia. In 1843, she married Hugh Holmes Lee (d. 1856), a lawyer from Winchester, Virginia. The couple had no children. During the Union occupation of Winchester, Ms. Lee's deliberately flaunted the edicts imposed by the occupying generals, end eventually led to Philip Sheridan ordering her exile to Baltimore in February 1865. Ms. Lee never returned to Winchester. She settled in Baltimore and became active in community and church work.          

BIBLIOGRAPHY:   Phipps, Sheila R. Genteel Rebel: The Life of Mary Greenhow Lee. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004 [B Lee]; Phipps, Sheila R. “132 N. Cameron Street: ‘Secesh Lives Here,’” Winchester-Frederick Historical Society Journal, 7 (1993): 51-68; Strader, Eloise editor, The Civil War Journal of Mary Greenhow Lee (Mrs. Hugh Holmes Lee) of Winchester, Virginia, Winchester, VA: Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, 2012 [973.782 Lee].                 

CITE AS: Mary Greenhow Lee Papers, 1182 WFCHS, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, USA.




Chronology to Mrs. Mary Greenhow Lee diary, compiled by Sheila Phipps, 1992, typescript

Mrs. Mary Greenhow Lee’s diary, March 1862-November 1865, typescript


"'As If I Were a Confederate Soldier': Mary Greenhow Lee and the Civil War She Waged in Winchester, Virginia," thesis by Sheila Phipps, 1996, 112 leaves, typescript

Lee, Mary Greenhow - will, April 17, 1907, typescript, 1 leaf

News articles

PHOTOGRAPHS: Photographs and other images belonging to this collection may be accessed online through