Lexington, Va: 22 Sept 1869
My dear Edward,
Your letter of the 17th gave me the pleasing intelligence of your safe arrival in this Country, & I hope that before this my dear niece has recovered from the effects of the journey, & will enjoy her visit to Niagara & Canada. She must gather abundance of strength to encounter our roads & not postpone her visit till the weather becomes unpleasant. The easiest way of reaching here is to take the packet boat at Lynchburg, on Monday, Wednesday, or friday afternoon, after the arrival of the Cars from Baltimore, & ascend the Canal. It is however not the most pleasant to me, for it obliges you to pass the night abound the packet which is Small etc: but it affords you the opportunity of seeing the pretty scenery in the mountains & of arriving here at a Convenient hour, 9 am the following mng. The more agreeable route I think is to take the stage at Goshen, Ches: & Ohio R.R. about 6 P.M. any afternoon, & reach here at 12 OClock at night, 21 miles. You can however arrived the night ride by stopping at Staunton & take the stage direct from there to Lexington, on tuesday, thursday, or Saturday mng. You must of Course arrive there the previous evg. This gives you a shorter R.R. ride & opportunity to rest, from about 3 ½ P.M. till the following mng, but it gives you a long ride, 36 miles by stage, which you make by sunset. You can also spend the night at Goshen & come on the next day, but there is no certainly of having a stage unless you order one from here specially. When I travel with your aunt I have to do that for her. If your baggage is not too heavy you might take a Carriage from Staunton any mng or I could send one from here to Goshen for you if you desire it. These are the only ways of reaching us & I hope one of them may suit you.
Your Uncle Marshall is in California. He has brought a farm in Los Angeles Valley & lives there with Louis who is no longer in the Army. I believe they are all well, but he never writes to us now. The Podestads have been spending the Summer near Warrenton, Va: but have promised to visit us in October. I hope they will be here while you are. You will however Miss Fitzhugh & his wife. The latter has been with us since last of July. But the former has come for her & they will probably leave that last of this month. Robert will go with them, but I hope that you will find the rest of us here.
Give my love to my niece & tell her how anxious I am to see her. You must come directly to our house, & if you will notify me of the day of your arrival, we shall be prepared to meet you.
All unite in love,
Very truly your Uncle,
R E Lee
Mr. Edward Lee Childe
The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.380, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 October 2